Creswell, Here to Help

Decade of dedication: Clubhouse celebrates with service goals

Creswell Clubhouse kids are celebrating the organization’s 10th anniversary this year by completing 10 special projects. Photo provided/Laura Rariden

CRESWELL – For the past 10 years, the nonprofit Creswell Clubhouse, located on the Creslane Elementary School campus, has provided safe, developmentally oriented afterschool and summer camp programs, helping kids explore their interests and find their passions while being educationally supported.
In honor of its 10th anniversary, Clubhouse has initiated a ”10 for 10” campaign to complete 10 projects during this school year:
The No. 1 goal is to raise $10,000 during the school year; 2) host a 10th anniversary spaghetti dinner in the spring; 3) a yard sale this fall; 4) a Change Battle (underway; the first grade level to fill its jar with coins receives a free day at the Clubhouse; 5) a donation letter-writing campaign (underway); 6) Decorating a Tree fundraiser this winter; 7) making a video this spring; 8) hosting a Parents’ Night Out this winter; 9) holding a read-a-thon this spring; and 10) making a presentation to Creswell City Council.
Created in partnership with the Creswell School District (CSD), United Way of Lane County and the University of Oregon, Creswell Clubhouse opened in 2005, serving 12 children, two afternoons a week. The nonprofit organizaiton now serves more than 100 children each year.
Executive Director Laura Rariden holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s in public and nonprofit administration, with over 27 years’ experience in the field.
She is supported by a board of directors and a staff of 12 University of Oregon ”program leaders” – work-study students and interns, most of whom are working toward degrees in education or family and human services.
”Our leadership and staff strive to improve the academic and social environment of children in the program,” Rariden said. ”We work hard to ensure the services we provide enhance the positive development of the young people in this community while supporting the academic needs of school.”
All UO program leaders have undergone criminal background checks, orientation and trainings, and are certified in first aid and CPR – and often there is at least one Creswell High School alumnus among them.
Program leaders with local roots ”show our children that they too can strive for and achieve their goals of graduating college, and their community ties are valuable,” Rariden said.
Older Creswell K-12 students also help: CHS and Creswell Middle School students – many of them Clubhouse ”graduates” – have completed thousands of volunteer hours over the years, and ”their commitment, love and dedication to Clubhouse is always heartwarming,” Rariden said.
• Twenty-three percent of Lane County children live in poverty, and nearly one in four (24%) children in Lane County live in food-insecure households.
• Three out of four teachers in the United States say their students are coming to school hungry, and when children are hungry, they can’t learn.
• Research shows that hungry kids struggle socially and behaviorally, are more likely to miss school and receive poorer grades, are twice as likely to repeat a grade in elementary school and are more likely to drop out of high school before graduation.).

Bentley Kremer, 8, says he likes attending Clubhouse because he gets to play with his friends and the leaders are ”super nice.”
Recently, Clubhouse received an $8,000 grant from the Chambers Foundation to support summer camp scholarships and programs. In 2018, Clubhouse received a $7,500 grant from the Cow Creek Umpqua Indian Foundation, and in 2017 received $5,000 from the Autzen Foundation for enrichment clubs and scholarship support.
Creswell First! also has awarded Clubhouse $500 each of the past few years, and Clubhouse is likely to resubmit a grant application this year, Rariden said.
Thanks to such grants, program fees remain low and scholarships can be provided to all families qualifying for CSD’s Free/Reduced Lunch Program – including more full scholarships.
Last year, more than $20,000 in scholarships were awarded, Rariden said.
Fundraising efforts continue. For more information or to donate, contact Laura Rariden at 541-852-6034 or [email protected], or visit



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