Oregon Department of Education (ODE) supports NFK each year with reimbursement funds, program administration and trainings, assisting their efforts in feeding children within the USDA Food Program (see below). In addition, ODE awarded NFK funding from a USDA- CACFP Child Care Wellness Grant, standing behind NFK’s My Health, My Life Project (see below), a project designed to prevent childhood obesity, improve the physical health of participants, teach and encourage healthy lifestyle choices and engage children in daily fitness and sports.
USDA Food Program: NFK’s Kids Zone is a proud sponsor of this daily meal program. In the school year all students receive a professionally prepared and free, nutritious supper during the Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). In the summer months, all participants receive a free lunch and afternoon snack as part of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Children need a variety of nutrient-rich foods during their critical years of development and the USDA Meal Program provides this.
The Kids Zone’s My Health, My Life Project consists of three elements; Health and Nutrition Classes, Fitness and Sports and the Community Garden. The project offers a combination of classroom-style learning, hands-on projects, cooking classes, variety of sports, a running club and an organic community garden. Classes and activities are taught by NFK staff, partner organizations (OSU Extension Services) and community volunteers. Another primary partner and funding source towards the project is Samaritan Health Services. Samaritan H.S. has provided funding each year from the hospital’s “Social Accountability Fund”, therefore investing in the healthy development of children in Lincoln County, Oregon.
Oregon Coast Community College – Small Business Development Center collaborates with NFK by providing funding and guidance for the Youth Entrepreneurship Program. In partnership with OCCC, students in grades 7-12 attend this professional business development class twice weekly. The class is taught using the nationally recognized Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) curriculum. The objective of these classes is to help students achieve greater academic, personal, professional and financial success, with the ultimate goal of developing a full business plan and launching a new business each year, or sustaining a youth-based enterprise to generate income.
Samaritan Health Services also collaborates with NFK by implementing the 3-year “Coast to the Cascades CATCH Project”, an evidence-based childhood obesity prevention program, focusing on two rural counties in Oregon, Lincoln and Linn county. Goals and objectives of this project include: 1)Establishing CATCH as a sustainable, cost-effective program for the promotion of health and maintenance of a healthy weight for children, 2)Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among children and 3)Improving health, fitness and quality of life through increased physical activity among children in these two rural counties.
The Lincoln County School District – 21st Century Community Learning Center grant supports NFK’s educational programming developed to improve academic performance and achieve school objectives. The Academic Excellence & Achievement Program (AXAP) provides reading and math tutoring sessions, homework assistance and project-based learning for students in grades K-12 from the Lincoln County School District. NFK has a goal to serve up to 60 students per week in this program. This one-on-one academic support is crucial for students who do not receive the individualized instruction they need from mainstream classroom settings, for students whose parents cannot provide the assistance needed at home and for those who have special needs or learning disabilities.
Surfrider Foundation volunteers work with students in NFK’s dedicated science classroom, analyzing samples of water each month from locations on the Oregon coast. The Kids Zone program in Depoe Bay is now an official Blue Water Task Force site, dedicated to preserving and protecting the ocean and its habitat. Another NFK partner is the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife – Salmon & Trout Enhancement Program (STEP). During the school year, the STEP biologists set up an actual working aquarium in the science classroom where students engage in fisheries education, raising steelhead from eggs to fry, and finally releasing them into the local habitat. NFK’s facility also has a “fishing locker” donated by STEP to increase opportunities for youth and families to take part in recreational fishing. The locker holds fishing poles and bait that can be checked out similar to the way books are checked out of a library.
Finally, the City of Depoe Bay’s Salmon Enhancement Commission collaborates with NFK to take care of the Coho Salmon Hatchery & Habitat, located about 1 mile from the NFK facility. Kids Zone students raise, feed and release nearly 15,000 Coho salmon each year, adding a new generation of fish to the Pacific Ocean.