Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Collaborative Efforts Fight Against Hunger

Hunger related issues prove vast in our county. Even at our South Sound 2-1-1 call center, food access and services are our top requested need. With this knowledge, the 
Hunger-Free Pierce County Collaborative is working to bring community leaders together to identify the most promising opportunities for increasing food security and food access in Pierce County. This Collaborative seeks to end hunger in Pierce County and will do so by bringing leaders together to meet our neighbor's needs.

United Way of Pierce County's role in this Collaborative is to: facilitate collaborations (10+ community partners), provide technical assistance, and measure collective impact.

As a collaborative, we are now able to have the most organized and broad-reaching effect on getting people the food they need in Pierce County. With around $250,000 of investments that have gone directly into the community, thousands of people have already been impacted by this group.

Hunger-Free Pierce County Collaborative is working to end hunger by focusing on:
  • Hunger relief
  • Providing basic needs
  • Building sustainable food systems

Objectives for these goals include:
  • Effective advocacy
  • Supporting grassroots solutions
  • Involving and educating the community

Check back regularly to see the initiative at work! We will actively post updates on projects, investments, and the impact of HFPCC's work.

Monday, December 7, 2015

7 Ways To Keep Your Kids Learning This Winter Break

by Cristiana Ventura, Resource Development and Marketing Intern

With a busy holiday schedule, making the time for learning is difficult..but your child's school skills can be easily lost over weeks of no school! Here are seven easy ways to keep your child sharp this winter break.

1. Make a library goal list
Switch up your usual library trip and have your child make a goal list of all the things they want to read or learn about during their two weeks off. Maybe it's two mysteries, a book about dinosaurs, one non-fiction, one fiction? It's up to them! This way your child can learn to do research and can become intentional when picking out books to read, instead of only finding ones with a fancy covers.

2. Utilize travel time
Holidays=Traveling. Put the time you'll be sitting in the car or waiting for your flight to good use. Some may go straight to the smart phone or portable DVD player to occupy the children- but situations like this are perfect for learning! Of course keep a book on hand, but there are other ways to learn: challenge your child to count in any situation (how many black suitcases are on the baggage claim carousel, how many out of state license plates can can you find, etc. ) Click here for more subtle thinking games to play as a family.

3. Explain leisure reading
Some kids end up avoiding reading because they may only "read" textbooks in class- no fun! But leisure reading is fun, casual, it is a choice! Explain to your child what book you are currently reading and why you wanted to read it. When you visit the library, ask for a tour, your child will see the variety of books out there, the recommended ones and where to find what he or she is looking for.

4. Bake together
Following a recipe can be a reading lesson- and a math one too! Read the ingredients and the instructions with your child, maybe even make a grocery list. Once you're ready to start, explain measuring for dry ingredients and liquids. Talk to them about measuring cups and the differences between them.

5. Role model your reading
Bring something to read everywhere you go. Back up your reasoning by the material you read. Explain how you learned something, or why something is the way it is and where you learned that information.

6. Visual Motivation
Make a chart showing who is reading what book and how many pages they have completed. It is a great way to stay on track of how many days are left of break and how many pages of reading can be fit in to that time!

7. More than books
Books aren't the only way to keep your child sharp this winter break. More easy ideas include: writing and mailing letters, turning on subtitles during movies (let's be honest, you can't ignore them), counting ornaments on all the trees, following winter craft instructions, etc.!