Oakridge, Lowell, and Surrounding Areas
East Lane Coordinator: Susan Hardy
East Lane Co-Chairs: Kack Camerer and Carol Chapman
In the three years since the East Lane team finalized its prevention plan, it has launched three strategies: Roots of Empathy, Welcome Baby, and Foster Grandparents. The Welcome Baby Bundle is delivered by retired community members who then become the “grandparents” to the receiving families, so that the two programs work together to provide support to parents and children. The team has adapted both strategies to adhere to social distancing guidelines but hopes to return to delivering the Bundle during home visits again soon. Identifying families with new babies has been more difficult during the pandemic, but the connections team members have made over the past year and a half have helped keep deliveries of Bundles steady.
Roots of Empathy has been embraced by the community since its 2018 debut in several East Lane elementary school classrooms. With the shift to distance learning, the program is currently on hold, but the team is excited to get rolling again as soon as it is safe to do so.
Looking to the future, the East Lane Team will expand the Foster Grandparents program to include family supports beyond the Welcome Baby Bundle. Safe Families, a respite program that aims to keep children out of foster care, was identified during the prevention planning process as a good fit for the region and a way to draw on the strengths of East Lane’s faith communities. East Lane is also interested in starting Parent Cafés to provide interactive education for parents and caregivers that can take place either in person or virtually.
Get in Touch with East Lane
Strategies in East Lane
This gift to the newest members of the East Lane community provides carefully selected items, as well as a binder with local resources – all delivered by a caring community member. A safety kit, a book and toy, organic clothing, a handmade “tummy time” quilt, and a hand-knitted infant cap are just some of the items in the Welcome Baby Bundle. Also included is the Period of PURPLE Crying, a training program shown to reduce Shaken Baby Syndrome by normalizing the intense crying experienced by some babies. The Bundle not only offers concrete resources but connects families with neighbors who can provide a support system for new parents.
Roots of Empathy
This classroom-based program cultivates empathy in children in order to build more caring, peaceful, and civil societies. Through interactions with an infant and caregiver, and with the guidance of a Roots of Empathy Instructor, children learn to identify and understand the feelings of the baby, then themselves, and the feelings of others. 90by30 has partnered with Roots of Empathy to bring this program to 50 first- and second-grade classrooms in Lane County.
East Lane is looking forward to bringing Safe Families for Children, a faith-based program that keeps children out of foster care by providing respite care to families in crisis, to the region. This strategy is a great fit for East Lane, which already has a strong tradition of volunteerism and engaged faith community members. The team is also planning for the expansion of Foster Grandparents, which connects children to “grandparents” (age 55 and older) to provide an additional layer of support during childhood and adolescence. The program complements the Welcome Baby strategy, as “grandparents” make their first connection with a family by delivering the Welcome Baby Bundle. In the coming years, the East Lane team will add more family supports to the program.
How You Can Get Involved in East Lane
- Donate to the Welcome Baby Bundle
- Volunteer as a Roots of Empathy Instructor or Family
- Join the Regional Leadership Team
- Join a workgroup for a program like Welcome Baby or an event like Child Abuse Prevention Month
- Commit to be a member of 5,000 Strong
Thank You to Our East Lane Supporters
Oakridge United Methodist Women
Oakridge Assembly of God Church
Oakridge School District