We all agree that children in Oregon deserve the opportunity to succeed regardless of their neighborhood and their parent’s economic status.

The Oregon Community Foundation’s new GO Kids (Giving Opportunities to Kids) initiative aims to overcome the opportunity gap faced by low-income children, children of color and rural children in our state, particularly in arts and education. OCF’s 2017 report entitled Toward a Thriving Future: Closing the Opportunity Gap for Oregon Kids, identified the major factors hindering our kids from succeeding. This opportunity gap has far reaching implications for our children’s personal achievement and well-being as well as for community vitality.

GO Kids is a volunteer-led initiative, which was launched this spring in eight different regions of the state, including Eastern Oregon. The Eastern Oregon volunteers convened in La Grande on April 5 to kick off GO Kids. This spring, the volunteers will work on raising awareness of the opportunity gaps in Wallowa County and in Eastern Oregon. The volunteers will also identify local grant opportunities in arts and education, decide on small grants and identify larger opportunities. Proposals for the large grant opportunities in arts and education will be received by OCF during the winter/spring of 2019/2020 and then the OCF board will award these large partnership grants in the summer of 2020. Collaborative partnerships are encouraged.

The GO Kids project aims to overcome Oregon’s opportunity gap by funding community-led solutions to close the gap through arts and education. The goal is for communities to collaboratively tailor local solutions to their local needs. If you have any ideas or suggestions about what we in Wallowa County can do to raise awareness about local opportunity gaps faced in arts and education or, if you have suggestions of possible grant opportunities, please let me know. I am available to answer questions and discuss your ideas. You can contact me by email stephens1@eoni.com or by phone 541-263-2276. More information is also available on the Oregon Community Foundation’s website at www.oregoncf.org/go-kids. Thank you for your help.

Anne Stephens, Joseph OR

Member of the Eastern Oregon Leadership Council

Oregon Community Foundation

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