The 2018-2019 school year marks Beyond Differences third year of programming in Portland, OR. We started off this school year with six Portland Teen Board members going to the Bay Area to participate in the CA Teen Board Retreat. After a successful and fun weekend, the teens came back and were ready to lead the Portland Teen Board Retreat and the Middle School Leadership Retreat. This year we have 18 returning Teen Board members and 12 new members for a grand total of 30 teens from 8 Portland High Schools. Our Teen Board continues to meet once a month for ongoing training and regularly visits local middle schools to provide assemblies, support National Day Events, teach curriculum and support Beyond Differences Clubs. The opportunities are endless for what these Portland teens can bring to middle schools in Portland to help end social isolation and create a community of kindness, caring, and helping one another.
The Portland Middle School Leadership Program is in its second year and is also off to a great start. On October 21, 2018, we hosted a 1-day retreat for middle school leaders at Portland’s Kennedy School. A total of 55 students from 9 middle schools attended the retreat, along with numerous school advisors. These students will bring their new skills back to their middle schools to lead our National Day Events and start Beyond Differences Clubs to continue to spread the word of inclusion.
In October, our Regional Program Director, Sheri Louis, offered the first professional development for the Know Your Classmates curriculum. We had a great turn out with our Advisory Council Members and middle school representatives, 5 partner schools attended. The event was well received and we hope to continue offering PDs prior to each National Day. Know Your Classmates Day was on 10/26/18 and a total of 14 middle schools participated in Portland!
The Portland team along with the 10 women that make up Beyond Differences Advisory Council have been busy this fall as well. We hosted our 2nd Annual Fall Cocktail Party on 11/8/18, to support the Portland Beyond Differences programs. It was a memorable evening of cocktails, music, silent auction, raffle and live presentations from the Teen Board of Directors. The evening was a great success and we thank all of our supporter and the staff at Plaza del Toro for an amazing event. We look forward to bringing our community together again for We Dine Together on 2/7/19 and Teens Rise Up in April.
Throughout the year, there is an opportunity to join the Middle School Leadership Team’s Beyond Differences club meetings at these partner middle schools in Portland: Beaumont Middle School, Beverly Cleary Middle School, Harrison Park Middle School, Lane Middle School, Roseway Heights Middle School, Laurelhurst Elementary School, All Saints School, West Sylvan Middle School, and Sunnyside Environmental.
If you are interested in learning more about Beyond Differences in Portland please contact Sheri Louis at: firstname.lastname@example.org.