Caring for Our Children #BainbridgeTogether

 

Through art classes, music groups, outdoor education, experiential learning, and various support mechanisms, our kids have access to resources on Bainbridge Island that enrich their lives. Our local nonprofits, responsible for many of these programs, ensure that all children have access to their services. With a 5% poverty rate on the island, and an 11% poverty rate of children below the age of 18 in Kitsap County more broadly, many local nonprofits offer tuition assistance or free programming to ensure that no child is excluded from their benefits.

Children on Bainbridge Island have a lower level of depression and fewer incidents of bullying compared to the rest of Washington State, according to the 2018 Bainbridge Island School District Healthy Youth Survey. Students also report a higher level of enjoyment and engagement at school. Nonetheless, the results of the same 2018 Healthy Youth Survey reported higher levels of anxiety among our teenagers on Bainbridge Island than in the rest of the state, along with the perception that access to drugs and alcohol is not hard. The depression rate—defined in this survey as feeling so hopeless for two weeks or more that they stopped doing some of their usual activities—is still relatively high, at 32% of 10th graders and 26% of 12th graders. As the COVID pandemic continues, depression and anxiety rates are rising—according to a recent Bainbridge Youth Services survey, 50% of the students answering the survey have said COVID-19 has worsened their mental health.

David[1]  was one of these students. He was struggling with bullying and loneliness, but his family could not afford therapy. Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS) on the island was able to offer him free and confidential counseling services, supporting David through his challenges. BYS offered him a safe place to share his feelings, gain some personal insights, and learn resiliency skills. David said that BYS “helped me see that life does have meaning and how many of my bad experiences can be used to further not only myself as a person but lead others to find a better path or help them through difficult times as BYS has done for me.”

Other nonprofits provide support for our children through funding in-school programs for conflict mitigation strategies, financing innovative ideas for students, and supporting cases of trauma. Outside of school, kids have access to counseling, creative outlets such as dance and music, and getting their essential needs met. Nonprofit childcare centers and experiential learning programs also provide a platform for all of our kids to explore their creativity. Even in uncertain times, many have stepped up to the plate to provide safe activities for our children. One parent commented about the Kids Discovery Museum camp this year “My little one (4 year old) is now a mask wearing expert!! The activities that they had for the kids were tactile, super fun and allowed the kids to be spaced appropriately….you truly made Isabelle’s summer!” No matter what the needs of our kids, there is a nonprofit available to help.

Nonprofits supporting our kids have been critical to the health of our community, and COVID-19 has put a strain on their ability to provide the essential programming that we have relied on for so many years. “The work of our nonprofits is relevant to every single person on Bainbridge Island and is accessible to all,” said Jim Hopper, Executive Director of BCF.  “The risk of losing some of them during this pandemic is very real, so we hope to spread awareness this fall about how their work is so essential to the strength of our community.”

To learn more about #BainbridgeTogether, click here.

Bainbridge Community Foundation supports our local nonprofits by providing analyses of community needs, awarding grants to meet those needs, connecting donors to nonprofits, and encouraging collaboration.  BCF also awards grants through its Community Response Fund to support our nonprofits during a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are inspired to learn more about our local nonprofits or donate directly to their cause(s), check out their websites below. You can also learn more by signing up for Bainbridge Community Foundation’s newsletter by emailing [email protected], visiting our website at www.BainbridgeCF.org, or following us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or #BainbridgeTogether).

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To learn more about our local nonprofits that care for our children, click on the links below. If you would like to donate, you can give directly on their website or go through the One Call for All directory.

Bainbridge Chorale: Bainbridge Chorale enriches and inspires our singers, audiences and community by sharing the transcendent power of choral music. Over the years, the organization has expanded its scope to include two youth choral programs, teaching kids of all ability levels to love and learn singing in a choir community.

Bainbridge Island Child Care Centers: BICCC’s mission is to serve the community and its families by providing affordable, accessible programs for preschool and school-age children where fun and learning are promoted in a creative, nurturing, and safe environment.

Bainbridge Prepares: A collaborative blend of individuals, organizations, and local government, Bainbridge Prepares is actively making our island community more resilient to natural and other disasters through mutual aid among residents.

Bainbridge Schools Foundation: BSF is an independent, non-profit organization working in close partnership with our public school community. BSF’s mission is to raise funds, leverage resources, and act as a catalyst to involve the community in public education.

Bainbridge Youth Services: BYS provides free, confidential, and easily accessible counseling services with licensed mental health care professionals, who provide emotional support and help clients achieve personal insight and explore possible solutions. The need for our counseling services continues to rise; we served more 700 Bainbridge Island youth last year in our one-on-one counseling and counseling outreach programs.

Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island: Bainbridge Island Boys & Girls Club’s (BI-BGC) mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BI-BGC has expanded operating hours to provide full-day programming to families in need of childcare, and they will continue to do so for as long as schools remain closed.

Dispute Resolution Center of Kitsap County: The Dispute Resolution Center provides mediation, facilitation and training services to help individuals, families and organizations resolve conflict. The DRC services offer people in conflict powerful strategies to open communication and find lasting solutions.

EBC – Eastside Baby Corner (West Sound Hub): Eastside Baby Corner’s mission is to help kids reach their full potential by meeting basic needs today. We imagine a world where all children are healthy, safe and prepared to build their own futures.

Graduate Strong: Graduate Strong’s goal is to address root causes of poverty and to focus on the alleviation of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences), a set of childhood traumas that have been shown to negatively affect the health, emotional welfare, and life success of children—and the adults they later become. Graduate Strong is focused on supporting educators and school districts to gain knowledge about how trauma impacts our brain development and life-long health, and what techniques and strategies we can use to help students build resilience.

Helpline House: Helpline House offers an umbrella of social services and invites the community to become part of a circle of giving and receiving help. The Kid’s Pantry Program aims to prepare enough food bags to meet the weekly needs of children during school breaks and especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holly Ridge Center: Holly Ridge Center enables children and adults with differing abilities to reach their fullest potential, creating a positive and lasting impact on the community. The vision is to create a community of full participation for both adults and children.

Horse Harbor Foundation, Inc.: To rescue at-risk horses with no other options for survival and provide them with safe and caring lifelong sanctuary and provide a structured educational program that will allow young people to learn not only how to ride horses, but also teach their proper care and keep.

IslandWood: IslandWood’s mission is to provide exceptional learning experiences and to inspire commitment to environmental and community stewardship. We work toward a future in which all people view themselves as lifelong learners and share an extraordinary bond of stewardship for the environment, for their community, and for each other.

Kathleen Sutton Fund: The Kathleen Sutton Fund has a single mission, to assist women, living in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap, or Mason counties, who are undergoing treatment for all cancers with their travel expenses.

Kids Discovery Museum: The mission of the Kids Discovery Museum (KiDiMu) is to spark children’s curiosity through play and experiential learning. KiDiMu has recently launched STEM subscription boxes, Camp at Home boxes, and a new preschool ages 3.5 -5.5 for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Kids in Concert: Creating compassionate citizens of the world through the healing and developmental power of music. KIC goes far beyond teaching kids music—they provide children with a safe environment to be themselves and connect with others in non-toxic, healthy relationships.

Kitsap Regional Library Foundation: The Kitsap Regional Library Foundation proudly supports our community by facilitating charitable gifts that advance the Library’s mission: Inspiring our community to dream more, learn more, do more and be more. Public libraries play an essential role in providing safe, accessible, and 100% free educational resource centers for communities across the country.

Martha & Mary: Martha & Mary provides quality, compassionate care and intergenerational experiences for children, adults and seniors regardless of faith, ethnicity or economic status. We offer those served caring rehabilitation, a safe place to grow and learn, and an opportunity to live with dignity, honor and individuality.

Pacific Model United Nations: Pacific Model United Nations (PACMUN)’s mission is to spread awareness of the United Nations, to motivate students to become more actively involved in local and global affairs, and to inspire students to change the world.

Peacock Family Services: Peacock’s vision is that the children of North Kitsap County will reach their full potential, nurtured by families and caregivers who feel supported, informed and connected. Peacock Family Services’ mission is to promote the healthy social and emotional development of children by providing nurturing and enriching care and family support.

Peninsula Community Health Services: The PCHS mission is to provide accessible, affordable, quality health and wellness services for our communities. Patients come from all walks of life, and PCHS services are available to them without regard for ability to pay.

Seabold Preschool: Seabold Preschool’s mission is to provide a safe and happy harbor to help prepare children for their own personal voyage through the 7 Cs: Child-led, Consistency, Creativity, Critical thinking, Communication, Cooperation, and Caring.

Vitalize Kitsap (formerly Island Time Activities): Island Time Activities mission is to empower people with intellectual disabilities to lead lives of meaning and self-determination. Vitalize Kitsap provides opportunities and guidance in the areas of setting and achieving goals, building relationships, learning and practicing life and work skills, and growing into involved community members.

[1] Name has been changed