Moore Street mends educational holes
Army offers eight-week college prep course in Portland, Ore.
by MIKE VERBOUT –
An old Chinese proverb states: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Our 21st century addition: “And if his catch is falling out through holes in his net—help him mend the net!”
In the classroom at Portland Community College, at The Salvation Army at Moore Street, during an overnighter at Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen, or stepping out around North Portland, the students of Mending Holes Academy are in the process of helping to mend the nets.
Mending Holes is an eight-week academic course for students 15-18 years of age that will help to raise their skill levels in writing and math and introduce them to the rigors of college course work.
Students have a week of orientation. They get to know the college campus; they have small group interviews with the college instructors; they also have individual assessments in math and writing, as well as team building activities at camp and a focus on spiritual formation experiences.
In the mornings students study math and writing in classes on the college campus and then have lunch at SAL (community nickname for The Salvation Army at Moore Street). Early afternoons at the SAL are committed to completing homework and confirming skills. Late afternoon includes involvement in the state-of-the-art Intel Clubhouse at the SAL and planning for the SAL block party.
Planning and developing the SAL block party for the end of the eight weeks of Mending Holes offers an opportunity for service. During this event 500 backpacks are distributed, filled with everything needed for youth to go back to school. Academy students network for donations and participation of businesses and find ways to invite everyone to a fun-filled neighborhood party. It is an integral part of the academy’s curriculum.
The major partners in sponsoring Mending Holes are: The Salvation Army at Moore Street, Portland Community College, Intel Corporation, The G.I. Joe stores and corporate offices and Burns Brothers Corporation.
The academy staff is composed of extremely gifted and talented individuals who love kids and form relationships that allow them to be highly effective in working with Mending Holes students and their families.