An Evening at the Portland Children’s Museum

KiddosBy: Executive Director, Jen Barth

As a parent, I’ve spent many hours at the Portland Children’s Museum with my daughters. Every time I visit, I’m always inspired by the power of creativity, which comes so easily when we’re young. And as I look across the office into the aisles of our Free Store for Teachers, I see firsthand the challenges we face in encouraging and sustaining this creativity in our children and in our classrooms. When we surveyed teachers this past fall, 64% of them shared that they consistently have to buy art supplies with their own money. In our Free Store for Teachers, the need for art materials and creative resources has never been greater.


This past Wednesday was a great reminder of the power of creative collaboration in our local community. I attended an “Eat, Drink, and Be Museum-y” holiday gathering hosted by the Portland Children’s Museum. Various arts, education non-profits, and community supporters were there including Young Audiences, NW Children’s Theater, OMSI, The Oregon Zoo, and The Intertwine. We also caught up and connected with some of our amazing corporate partners such as Bank of America, The Standard, and Cambia Health. In a time of rising needs and new resource strains, I’m proud to stand among so many non-profits, business partners, and community leaders who are committed to making a tangible difference in the lives of children by encouraging artistic growth within Portland’s classrooms.


Portland Children’s Museum Executive Director, Ruth Shelly

One thing I truly love about the Schoolhouse Supplies community is how resourceful and creative our staff, volunteers, and partners are as we all consider ways to continue strengthening our service to teachers, schools, and families across Portland. We’re always looking for new and creative ways to help us sort product donations and artistic materials for our Free Store. Top needs are watercolors, tempura paint, and pastels as well as any item used for art projects like fabric, felt, and colored paper.

Everyday in our community, hundreds of children enter school without the simple tools they need to be successful and receive an education. That’s why at Schoolhouse Supplies we’re committed to serving classrooms in need by operating a volunteer-run Free Store for Teachers stocked with supplies donated by the community. This holiday season, our goal is to raise $10,000 to ensure that every child receives a quality education regardless of circumstance. Help us help the children of Portland. Find us in the Willamette Week Give!Guide under “Education” to donate today.

Do you have other ways you are resourceful in your creative endeavors? I’d love to hear more!

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