Things Are Changing Fast!

on Monday, October 03, 2016 Posted in Stories, School Partnership Network

The Evergreen School District in East Vancouver is located in one of the fastest growing areas in the greater Portland/Vancouver metro area. Many families actually move into the area because of the reputation of the local school district. The arrival of students also brings with it an influx of additional demands on the limited resources of the district. The school administrators, classroom teachers, and family resource centers are often stretched to their capacity in order to meet the growing list of needs. For this reason, resources and volunteers from the larger community are vital to their success. 

That’s where the idea of church partnerships takes off. Just a couple of years ago the Evergreen School District administrators could only identify two schools that had an ongoing relationship with a local faith community. 

In a recent conversation between Larry Whittlesey of the School Partnership Network (SPN) and a couple of those same administrators, we learned that all but 2 of the 31 schools in the district have some type of ongoing connection with a local church. While a number of things have happened over the last couple of years to foster these connections, these administrators credit the initial gathering of “Pastors and Principals” in January 2015—sponsored and organized by SPN—as the catalyst that created the momentum for initiating and cultivating these mutually beneficial relationships.     

The Evergreen Faith Based Coffee, a monthly gathering of school officials, ministry leaders, and non-profit agencies, was launched after that same gathering in January 2015. The expansion of the Family Resource Centers throughout the district can also be connected to the success of that initial gathering, and the desire within the district to find ways to partner within the larger community to better serve their students and families. 

The bottom line is, things are changing fast at the Evergreen School District, for the better! Superintendent John Deeder and his staff have been very supportive of this effort to partner local churches with the district’s schools. Melanie Green, Administrator of the district’s 14 Family & Community Resource Centers (and of the Evergreen Faith Based Coffee), couldn’t be happier! The volunteers and material goods provided by the faith community are making a tremendous impact in the district’s ability to meet real time needs in their student population.  

For more information on how you can help, contact Melanie at (360) 604-4002 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.