Education, Springfield

Foundational learning

Dean Cuppiles and Kayla Diaz listen to Mayor Christine Lundberg read ”Windows” by Julia Denos during the Fair Housing Story Time with Mayor Lundberg on April 30. The event was an opportunity to talk with parents about fair housing rights while children could participate in activities. PHOTOS BY ALIYA HALL/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE

To bring awareness to fair housing rights and laws, Springfield City Hall tried something a little different to involve the whole family.
Fair Housing Story Time with Mayor Christine Lundberg on April 30 in the Springfield Public Library gave residents an opportu­nity to learn more about fair housing, while offering a story time and activities to help entertain children.
”It’s an event that we had borrowed from other communities,” said Erin Fifield, community devel­opment analyst for the City. The event uses children’s books written about housing to educate people about the Fair Housing Act.
The Fair Housing Act protects people from discrimination when renting or buying a home, getting a mortgage, seeking housing assistance or other housing­related activities, accord­ing to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The act prohibits discrimi­nation based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability; Oregon’s law also includes legal sources of income, domestic violence survivors, marital status, sexual orienta­tion and gender identity.
”Outside of my job, fair housing wasn’t lexicon that I was necessarily aware of,” Fifield said. ”When I started looking into the act I learned that you can’t be discrimi­nated against when kids are under 18; I don’t know how many residents have a chance to learn about these issues.”
While resources were available for parents, most of the interest was on Mayor Lundberg as she read ”Windows” by Julia Kenos and ”Home” by Carson Ellis to children.
”Housing is something I’m interested in, to make sure we have adequate hous­ing for everyone – particu­larly children and families,” Mayor Lundberg said. ”It’s a focus for Springfield, chil­dren and families (to have) stable housing so everyone can be successful.”
Fifield said Mayor Lundberg has the ability to relate with adults and chil­dren.
”You don’t always have a chance to be with the mayor, and here’s an opportunity,” Fifield said. ”I could read it (to the children) but I thought that wouldn’t be a motivator in the same way.”
After the reading, the chil­dren worked on an activ­ity where they could design what their house looked like, as well as draw their family on the inside. Included on the pictures were a heart with the motto, ”Every house and family is different and this one 1s 1nine.”



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