Community Service

Community Service Activities at Ainsworth

To go along with student MindUp curriculum lessons about mindful action in the community, Ainsworth is dedicated to involving all students in community service activities throughout the year. This year, these community service activities will be organized by grade and staggered throughout the year. All families are encouraged to participate and/or donate as possible in ALL activities! However, students from the specific grades will be responsible for coordinating specific events for specific agencies.

Students can help with the coordination of events through the following types of activities:

  • Labeling and putting out collection bins in all classrooms and empty them as needed
  • Help sort/count what’s collected and keep track of what more is needed
  • Making posters for school and flyers for students to take home to parents
  • Write communications around the activity for school wide/room parent electronic distribution
  • Help deliver supplies to different agencies respectively
  • Volunteer at events as appropriate
  • Brainstorm ideas for fundraising if monetary donations are needed/collect funds

Student Council committees will assist students with the coordination of activities, in addition to school staff and teachers at times. The Ainsworth PTA will be asking for additional parent volunteers as needed to also assist students and adult volunteers are required.

Activities By Grade and Time Frame:

Kindergarten: Children’s Book Bank 5th Annual Book Harvest (October/November 2017)

First Grade: Project Lemonade (September 2017)

Second Grade: Alder and Hayhurst/Take Action Inc – Ainsworth Elementary Partnership, Clothes/Book/Food Drives (ongoing, March 2018)

Third Grade: Alder-Ainsworth Elementary Partnership, Learning Collaborative and School Supplies Drive (ongoing, April 2018)

Fourth Grade: Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers Toy and Food Drive (November/December 2017)

Fifth Grade: PTA Clothing Center (January/February 2018)

We also are hoping that students from each grade will pick a cumulative end-of year project to participate in together or participate in an MLK Day of Service activity January 15th, 2018. Additional partnership/community service activities may also occur during the course of the year!

Any questions or want to participate, contact Marisa McLaughlin and Naira Perez at

 Activity Descriptions:

 Alder-Ainsworth Elementary Partnership: Last school year, Ainsworth and Alder (Reynolds school district) embarked on a Portland cross-school/district partnership, in coordination with both schools’ administration, Ainsworth PTA/student council and the I Have A Dream Foundation (Alder is a dreamer school). Last year Ainsworth donated the Book Fair all for books dollars to the Alder community summer bookmobile program and had an end-of-year school supplies drive. This year, we are hoping to establish an Alder and Ainsworth 3rd grade learning collaborative around the city of Portland, a volunteer exchange between schools, and to continue book, clothing and school supply drives to benefit Alder.

 Children’s Book Bank 5th Annual Book Harvest: The Children’s Book Harvest is part of Portland Public School’s Read Together initiative, which seeks to ensure that ALL students are reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.  To help every child succeed, The Children’s Book Bank has partnered with Portland Public Schools to ask the community to donate 30,000 new or gently-used children’s books in the fall.  The books will be cleaned, sorted, and delivered to students at schools specially selected by PPS. To help, Ainsworth families can donate new and/or gently used children’s books that would be appropriate to give to babies, toddlers, elementary age children and middle-schoolers. Ainsworth families donated 1,000 books last year. For more information, go to:

 Friends of Seasonal and Service Worker Toy and Food Drive: The all-volunteer organization Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers assists migrant farm and nursery workers in meeting the needs of their families.  Boxes will be in classrooms to accept non-perishable food and new unwrapped toys in December. Cash and check donations are also welcome.  Checks can be made out to FSSW. Ainsworth families can help by donating, fulfilling child ‘wishlists’, as well as organizing gifts and decorating at the annual holiday event. Stay tuned for dates and more information.

Hayhurst/Take Action Inc – Ainsworth Partnership: Hayhurst Elementary School PTA in SW Portland began a food pantry program in order to be able to provide any student at their school facing food insecurity with a Friday grocery bag full of food, including fresh produce. Take Action Inc funds several schools in the Portland metropolitan area so that children who have little to no access to food on the weekends or school breaks can take home these backpacks full of food during those times. They are the primary funder of the Hayhurst food program.  Both are looking to expand their program in order to provide these services to more PPS students in the SW community. In order to achieve this, Ainsworth is looking to partner with Hayhurst/Take Action Inc around food and supply drives, as well as donations. For more information, go to:

Project Lemonade: Project Lemonade provides foster youth with back-to-school shopping experience and offers support to inspire self-esteem and promote success. Project Lemonade is doing amazing things… In August 2017, they served more than 1,800 foster youth from over 26 counties in Oregon and Washington. For the past couple of years, Ainsworth families have partnered with Project Lemonade to host clothes or toy drives as the need has arisen. For more information, go to:

 PTA Clothing Center Volunteering and Donations: The PTA Clothing Center serves over 1700 PPS students each year, providing free clothes and shoes to PPS families in need. Ainsworth has been assigned to provide 5-6 volunteers to help at the Clothing Center on 10/12/2017 and 02/08/18 from 9:30am to 1:30pm at the Marshall High School campus. If there aren’t enough volunteers on a particular date, the Clothing Center has to turn away kids who come there. Money can also be donated to the Clothing Center to help them purchase essentials. Ainsworth also coordinates a clothing drive for the PTA clothing center in January/February based on the essentials that PTA clothing center staff assess students most need.  For more information, go to:

Past community service events

Warm Coat Drive for PTA Clothing Closet and Alder Elementary
When:  December 1st through December 11th
What To Do: Donate new or gently used coats and jackets for elementary children and adults/teenagers. Labeled donation bins will be located outside the main office.
Donation Information: These coats and jackets will be going to benefit the PTA Clothing Closet and Alder Elementary School. Both organizations urgently need warm coats to provide children and families during these cold and wet winter months.  For more information, please go to or contact us at:
Holiday Toy and Food Drive for Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers (FSSW)
When:  December 1st through December 15th
What to Do: Donate dry or canned food goods and/or new, unwrapped children’s toys or gifts. Collection boxes will be in every classroom. Food items needed include: dried pinto beans, white rice, dried red chiles, hojas (corn husks), cooking oil, pasta. Money can be donated in any amount that would allow the purchase of perishable food, such as potatoes, onions, turkeys, and pork roasts. Needed gift items should be new and include: dolls, remote control cars, action figures, sports equipment, jewelry, make-up and coats.
Donation Information: FSSW is a voluntary group dedicated to materially assisting seasonal, farm, and service workers struggling for collective solutions to their poverty conditions through their own independent, community-backed organizing efforts. The FSSW annual holiday campaign helps provide to means for families to narrow the gap between actual income and living expenses, by being able to support the provision of additional items like holiday food and gifts.
Volunteer sign-ups to deliver food and at main holiday event coming soon. Many thanks to the 4th grade class and teachers for coordinating and leading this drive effort at Ainsworth!