Ocean Beach School District’s six-week Summer Boost program is over and in an effort to share how truly amazing our partners are. I would like to acknowledge everyone in a brief rundown of our summer adventures. In addition to our student’s daily practice of literacy and S.T.E.M., once a week, students went on a morning Career Investigation Walk. These short visits to local businesses gave students a peek at jobs/careers in their neighborhood. We received a lot of information about many different jobs including why learning to read, work in teams, perform mathematics, and using manners are important to businesses. It was incredible to hear students as they reflected on their experiences and thought of their futures. I got goosebumps when I heard an Ocean Park girl exclaiming “I am going to be a fire fighter; did you see there were women fire fighters there?”

Ocean Park Elementary walked to Peninsula Pharmacies in OP, Fire Dept. #1, Jack’s Country Store, Adelaide’s, Hill and Son Towing and Excavating, and the OP Post Office.

Long Beach Elementary walked to Peninsula Pharmacies in LB, Chinook Observer, Cottage Bakery, Funland, the Police Station, and the LB Post Office.

Our students were wowed with information about many jobs this summer. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedules to prepare and educate our students in your area of expertise. Your efforts will go a long way when these children are considering the inevitable question of what do I want to do when I grow up.

In addition, Ocean Park Elementary walked to the Timberland Regional Library where they participated in TRL’s summer learning program each Wednesday. Students learned about and handled reptiles, watched a magic show and much, much more. We felt very privileged to participate in your weekly events. We love our Library!

We were also able to schedule an all-day field trip once a week over the summer. Destinations (besides being so cool) included information on jobs/careers and gave us opportunities to practice using appropriate etiquette/manners. It is good to know our student’s parents, schools and their community expect the very best from them. Thanks for being brave enough to host our grade school students and for creating time in your summer schedule to accommodate us. We appreciate how you all anticipated their little attention spans and their incredible urges to touch and explore what they are learning about!

Our first field trip destination was the Maritime, Educational, Research, and Training Station (MERTS Campus at Clatsop Community College) where we learned about Maritime and Fire Sciences. Youth were encouraged to dress the part as well as try their hand at handling the fire hose to see how hard it was to handle. We thought that was amazing but then the burning building blew our minds — so cool! Students listened to maritime stories and created their own story in a college classroom. Then they rotated to the hypothermia challenge, practice throwing a life line, knot tying, and each ship raced to navigate the channel appropriately using the red and green buoys. It was inspiring watching so many kids have such a positive day on a college campus!

The second week of program we participated in the Beach Clean Up. All felt this is an important service learning experience for our students. We are very proud how they rallied around cleaning up other people’s trash to take care of our beaches. Cape Disappointment not only granted us the use of Pacific Pines State Park and gave us trash bags but they also had a Park Ranger on site to talk about the importance of a clean environment for the animals that live here. We really appreciate that our state parks have soap, running water and toilets for our huge group. Moose Lodge served all students BBQ hot dogs after our student’s cleanup efforts. We were starving and they were delicious — thank you so much for supporting our service efforts this year!

Next stop was Sandsations! Yes, we were invited to participate in Sandsations where The City of Long Beach hooked us up with a professional sand sculptor. Bert gave each site a sculpting lesson and then students had time to create their own sand castles! After a picnic lunch at Veteran’s park, we participated in the sidewalk art event down town Long Beach. Regan, you are the best! We are sorry we ran out of steam and could not meet with the Mayor but we are looking forward to rescheduling a trip to see how the city government works.

The Astoria Aquatic Center was a fun diversion for Ocean Park students when we found out the blueberries were not ripe. We were thrilled that they could accommodate our group so we quickly changed our farm to table lesson and went swimming instead. What a blast! A big thank you to Verna Oller Trust for providing funding for Pacific County residents to swim.

Our next adventure took us to the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Astoria in Warrenton where students talked with a Pilot, Law Enforcement, and other experts about the incredible work they do every day. Youth were thrilled to be able to sit in the helicopter and have such a memorable learning experience! I heard the same reply from all — “It was AMAZING”!

Fort Clatsop in Warrenton, Oregon exposed Long Beach students to the rich history that surrounds our communities. During the learning hike, the students learned to identify riparian areas of the wetland habitats and what animals, fish, and plants/trees supported the Clatsop Indian tribes. Students then formed inferences on how the geography of the area led Lewis and Clark to the Netal River and established Fort Clatsop. Overall, a great understanding of our nation’s history and students gained insight to how our coast communities were shaped.

Our last field trip was to Camp Moorhead in Nachotta. This county park is dedicated for youth use and it is located right on our beautiful Willapa Bay. Many community partners facilitated a part of our day at camp. Northern Oyster Company brought us fresh specimens from the bay for our students to observe, touch and reflect on. This has been a favorite part of our summer learning each year so we are very thankful Marilyn, Estella, and Ione wanted to come back for 2017! Ken Wiegardt and Jolly Roger Oysters provided and incredible tour and information about oyster farming and the production of their product. Now we understand all the work behind those enormous piles of shells not to mention how much chemistry, math, and time management is needed. Kathy and Ken Olson for assuring the Interpretive Center was open for our perusal. We appreciate your flexibility when our day was rescheduled. Zachary Foster and Charlotte Berry from Fish and Wildlife Research Station for bringing us many local specimens to observe and ponder. We really enjoyed using the microscopes this year — seeing Willapa Bay up close was an eye-opener! Each of your partnerships revitalized this overly rustic County Park into an amazing learning center for the day — right here on our pristine Willapa Bay. What a perfect place for a learning center to be located.

On top of all these great activities our partners, Schools Out Washington and Page Ahead provided funding for our summer T-shirts (student designed) and they supplied a new reading book for all students each week via a Feed Your Brain grant. Save the Children provided literacy tools and the cooking equipment for our students to prepare their recipes simultaneously during our family cooking events. Thank you for helping us support family reading all summer long!

I would also like to acknowledge Grays Harbor College Columbia Education Center in Ilwaco. Bruce was paramount in setting us up with a great learning space where we could host a variety of trainings to prepare for our summer programs. Many thanks for your hospitality and technical assistance.

2017 was indeed an amazing summer. I am always inspired to see so many contribute so much. A BIG thanks to all for creating learning opportunities for our grade school students and staff. We are big, big fans ­— thanks for all you do for peninsula kids!

Jean Fisher

Director of After School Programs

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