GET LOUD Poetry SLAM – December 13th, 2014

Congratulations Jared, Skidmore Prize Winner

Every year, Willamette Week honors four Portlanders 35 and under who do fabulous work for local nonprofits by awarding them the Skidmore Prize.This year, Our Very own,Jared Hoffman, won the Willamette Week Skidmore Prize!!!ggg

When we asked Jared how he felt about being a Skidmore winner he replied, ” I feel honored. This award speaks volume to the people I work with and the partnerships Active Children Portland has. It is because of the partners and people I have with me that Active Children Portland has been able to be so successful.”

Jared has spent some time reflecting on these past three years working with Active Children Portland and how much he has grown in the process. Jared admits that he was surprised he won and even thought his boss might be pulling a prank on him!

“This is the kind of work that I have been wanting to do since I was in eighth grade. I am thankful and I am excited about our future and growth possibilities.”

We asked our Executive Director, Ben Dudley, to share a few thoughts about Jared.  Here’s what he had to say, “We are so proud of Jared for his dedication and commitment to help communities have Active Children! Jared is one of a kind, he just loves what he does and loves serving the greater Portland community.  From all of us at Active Children Portland, Thank you Jared for helping Transform Communities Through Youth Sports!”

Jared wants to encourage you all to support this years Give!Guide. Last year during this time we raised over $8,000. We want to exceed that this year. Please help us by donating here or spreading the word about this year’s Give!Guide.

Sunset Audi will match the first $2500 in Give!Guide donations to Active Children Portland.

All G!G donors to Active Children Portland will receive a shopping pass for 50 percent off at the adidas Village Store.

Donors of $20+ will receive $10 off Soccer Shots’ winter season.

Donations by adidas employees through the All in for Good program will receive a donation match of 150 percent by adidas.

Please spread the word through social media! #giveguide and @acportland

Thank you for your support!

Meet our Player of the week, Yadira Valle

Yadira Valle is an enthusiastic fifth grader in our program at Whitman Elementary. Yadira has been a part of our program for three years and has loved it! Yadira has loved playing soccer since she was young. She tells us how she has seen an improvement in her skills since she first started the program. She loves showcasing her new skills and loves even more when she is able to score a goal.
Aside from soccer, Yadira shared how she enjoys poetry. She has been preparing to showcase her poetry at this year’s poetry slam. She is writing a poem about the importance of being nice to people. Yadira has benefited from others being nice to her and she wants others to reciprocate that gesture. Poetry, like soccer, is a way for Yadira to creatively express herself. She has learned that the harder she works and the more disciplined she becomes, the better she gets on the field and in the classroom. Despite her young age, she is quickly developing a holistic understanding of the physical, mental, and emotional disciplines that encompass her growth. Growing up, Cup of Noodles were a common meal in her home, and while her family continues to eat it on a regular basis, her tastes have changed and instead she now enjoys eating beets and other more nutritious foods.
Yadira’s coach has been instrumental in her growth and success with Active Children Portland and she has appreciated and enjoyed coach Jeff’s support, tutoring help and coaching on and off the field. Yadira has a bright future ahead of her and we are blessed and honored to have her be Active Children Portland’s player-of-the-week.

Whitman's Soccer Team!

Whitman’s Soccer Team!

Volunteer Appreciation Event Recap

Active Children Portland had huge success growing programming, staff capacity increase and a key and valuable Chipotle partnership that included a $50,000 check. As Active Children Portland continues to grow, we understand that in order to be successful, volunteers are vital to our organization. Transforming communities through youth sports takes a community wide effort and that is why we are so thankful to all our volunteers. fun
Last Thursday, Active Children Portland held a volunteer appreciation event at Ex Novo. We had people there from our many different volunteer programs. Volunteers from our special events, our one on one with the player’s volunteers, office work helpers, and the 50/50 raffle volunteers. It was a night full of laughs, memories and getting to know the Active Children Portland family better.

Enjoying some tasteful food!

Enjoying some tasteful food!

Some of our volunteers were brave enough throughout the night to grab the mic and share why they volunteer with Active Children Portland. One of the coaches shared a story about empowering a young girl to have a big voice. She started out timid and quiet, but with his help and encouragement became a leader who used her newfound “voice”! Another energetic and enthusiastic volunteer shared his success with participating in selling raffle tickets by being offered a job. It turned out to be the job that he will continue after graduation. What a heartfelt moment hearing about how our volunteers feel like they are part of something bigger than just themselves. Our volunteers are “all in” to serving our young players.

Sharing stories

Sharing stories


A huge part of our successful year in fundraising continues with our 50/50 raffle at the Timbers, Thorns FC and Trail Blazers games. Certificates of Achievement and a Blazer suite ticket were presented to our top sellers from the raffle. As the top sellers were recognized, fun and excitement was had by all. So much competition between the sellers provided laughs and applause!
Without our volunteers, it would be impossible, so many thanks and much appreciation to all.

Meet our player of the week, Molly!

Molly Cogburn-Fary is a 5th grader at Markham Elementary. This is Molly’s third year being part of the America Scores program. Based on her gifts and passions, there is not a better program for her than America Scores. America Scores is a program that Active Children Portland has partnered with that integrates soccer, poetry and service-learning, with an approach that improves students’ health, academic achievement and civic engagement. Molly loves soccer and writing, therefore being able to come to this program after school motivates her to do well in school.
Molly has developed holistically in the past three years. She is now a more athletic person, who understands the importance of incorporating physical activity in her life. When we asked what other things she had learned being part of the program, she responded by saying to eat healthier. Her favorite food is a noodle, broccoli casserole. How many fifth graders do you know who would say that?! Molly has had a great attitude and an open mind with our program and has been able to take the knowledge gained and apply it to her life. For this and many more reasons, she is our player of the week.
Molly is girl with many passions. She has a passion for poetry and for making her community a better place. When she writes about her dreams for her community through poetry, it is one of the most inspiring things we have ever heard. In one of her poems, she explained how unhealthy smoking is, yet she sees so much of it in her community. She wants this year to use her poetry as a vehicle for change. Through writing poetry she plans to communicate to people the dangers of smoking. Molly’s poetry will be a change agent in her community.
Molly is an outstanding player. She is a team player who understands the importance of valuing everyone. Her coach and teammates have nothing but good things to say about her. Active Children Portland is very proud of this week’s player of the week!

It’s Working!

The results are in and our programs are working! Here are a few of the amazing stats from our program year 2013-2014!

-BMI Percentile: 81% of participants improved or maintained their BMI percentile in AC Portland Programming last year

-79% of participants improved or maintained their aerobic capacity Last Year
-Average attendance in Active Children Portland programming was 82% last year


Active Children Portland Fall Frenzy Recap

Our players love getting pictures taken!

Our players love getting pictures taken!

This last Saturday we hosted our 4th annual Fall Frenzy at Providence Park. This event was a time for our players, their families, coaches and program partners to come together and share the beautiful game of soccer. This year we partnered with Portland Timbers Stand Together and Chipotle to provide a more enriching experience for everybody there.


Thanks to Chipotle for catering for us!

Thanks to Chipotle for catering for us!

Over 150 of our players participated in this soccer clinic. Portland Timbers coaches led sessions on teamwork, passing, shooting, and many more. The players would cycle through the different sessions having so much fun. This was a time for children all over Portland to get to know each other better while doing what they love, playing the beautiful game. After a tiring first half of the day, we were all energized by Chipotle. Chipotle catered our event and provided more than enough food. It was great seeing the fellowship that occurred over having lunch. Thanks Chipotle!
fall frenzy

After eating, all of our different sites engaged in some serious fun scrimmages. The energy being spread through these games was contagious. Parents and coaches all cheered from the sidelines. It was a great, friendly competition. The teams who were not playing were then meeting two of the Portland Timbers players, George Fochive and Michael Nanchoff. Our players enjoyed taking selfies, getting autographs, and advice on how they can be future Timbers players. Fall Frenzy was a huge success and we were thrilled to see our players having so much fun!

We appreciate our players, families, coaches and program partners for coming out. We also want to thank Portland Timbers Stand Together and Chipotle for helping make this event a success. Transforming communities through youth sports takes a community wide effort, therefore we are so thankful for our partners.

fall frenzy 2

New Active Children Portland Coffee Blend

Our friends at Kahveology have created a special unique blend of coffee just for Active Children Portland and a portion of all the proceeds from this roast will go straight to helping support our programs.

“We believe in living a healthy active lifestyle, and we also believe in bettering the community we live in. All of us play sports, we love the outdoors, and love healthy, fresh coffee. Even before we started we knew we wanted to blend all those things together. Active Children Portland was the perfect way to do that, to live out our mission statement in a real way. We are stoked to be able to use our gifts to serve these kids and hopefully make a difference.” – Justin Know, Kahveology founder.

LogoTheir website boast, ” The term low gravity means a variety of things. If you are sending hard routes like a monster, you are having a low gravity day. If you are hitting PR’s in the gym, you are having a low gravity day. Even if you are just having an awesome time and nothing is holding you down…that’s a low gravity day!  Low gravity is a Brazilian grown coffee with deep smooth flavor. Hints of caramel drip from it like honey from a hive. Grab a bag and brew up some of this goodness!”

Active Children Portland’s Executive Director, Ben Dudley said, “Partnerships like this are so important in today’s economy for non-profits.  This allows businesses, especially start-ups to get their name out to the public while giving back to help at the same time.  It is a win-win! We are proud to partner with Kahveology because they are focused on health and nutrition.”

Be sure and order a bag or two today!


Active Children Portland Programming Starts


Coach Jared guiding open circle

Coach Jared guiding open circle

It’s official, Active Children Portland programming has started at our different sites! Our sports programming is located at eleven different sites in the Portland metro area. Active Children Portland program participants receive programming in blocks of ten weeks, 4 days per week, which keeps them active, healthy, and engaged in a positive and stable after-school environment. In fall and spring, we engage youth through America SCORES and Soccer for Success (US Soccer Foundation) programming, which integrates soccer, creative writing, nutrition education, and community service projects. Our programs focus on helping all participants to develop the confidence and life skills they need to succeed.


Miguel getting ready for practice

Miguel getting ready for practice

At one of our sites, Hacienda, the young players were eager to get out on the court and demonstrate their skills. Miguel Torres, is a second grader who is doing Active Children Portland, Soccer for Success program for the first time. He moved to Portland last year with his parents from Morelos, Mexico to seek a different lifestyle. Miguel is still working really hard on learning English. Although, it has been challenging he wants to feel included through communicating with his teachers and fellow students. However, he tells us that when he is out playing soccer, it does not matter that he does not speak English because everyone there “speaks soccer language.”  Miguel is super stoked about being able to use the futsal court ( Adidas, Timbers, and Active Children Portland built). He remembers playing back in Mexico, in the middle of streets, where he would consistently get hurt because of the setting where they played. This year, Miguel and hundreds of other inner city kids will have a safe place to play sports while developing holistically.

Active Children Portland is all in with these outstanding young players. We are looking forward to a great season with many more stories about how our programming is transforming lives. Miguel finished off by saying he was going to be a future Chicharito. We believe in our players and will support them in whatever their dreams are, including becoming a professional soccer players.

Paid Coaching Positions Available

Coaches Needed!!

We are in need of coaches to run our outstanding after school program. Active Children Portland program participants receive programming in blocks of ten weeks, 4 days per week, which keeps them active, healthy, and engaged in a positive and stable after-school environment. In fall and spring, we engage youth through America SCORES and Soccer for Success (US Soccer Foundation) programming, which integrates soccer, creative writing, nutrition education, and community service projects. Our programs focus on helping all participants to develop the confidence and life skills they need to succeed.

The different sites are listed below:

Cesar Chavez

Whitman Elementary

Lincoln Park Elementary


If you feel like you or anyone you know would be a good fit for this position please let us know. For any further questions please contact Yesenia at

Job Descriptions:



Cesar Chavez