Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

da Vinci Logo imageda Vinci Arts Middle School

Creative minds for
challenging times.

2508 NE Everett Street | Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 916-5356 | Fax: (503) 916-2721


Information About Ms. Wasson’s Annual Community Building Overnight Core Retreat

Returning families know all about this trip. And this year I’m aiming to do no less than we did last year. I will start sending information home with your child over the next few weeks. This year’s retreat dates are October 2 and 3.

For families who are new to my core, the retreat is an overnight community building experience for our kids and those lucky parent chaperones. We attend YMCA’s Camp Collins for two days and one night, involving ourselves in experiential games and activities that strengthen our cooperation, support, trust and community. I created this trip five years ago after several years of chaperoning various da Vinci overnight events. When I realized the value, power and benefit community building experiences, such as overnight field trips brought to kids, I dreamt of devising something as meaningful for my core classes.

The basic itinerary consists of leaving da Vinci early Saturday morning, spending the night at Camp Collins, working in groups playing cooperative community games, eating meals together, singing songs at the camp fire, and returning home on Sunday afternoon, hence, creating that amazing and rare bond that is sometimes so difficult to construct only in the classroom. This trip gives students and me a lot to build on throughout the year. For everyone involved (chaperones, too), it is worth the time, funds and effort.

Over the next three weeks you will be hearing a great deal about this trip. In the past I've had car washes and bottle drives to raise funds for this event. I am at a place in my life where that is no longer feasible. If you're interested in creating fundraising opportunities, please let me know. The paperwork I will be sending home in the next week will outline the trip and the planning and support I'll need. If you know any of my current or former families, ask them about the trip. They are the very best source for information regarding this event.

If you have any questions, please contact me (503) 916-5356 or e-mail me at swasson@pps.net

Thank you,
Shannon Wasson
da Vinci Arts Middle School

Preparation for the 2009-2010 Core Retreat

Fundraising for our core retreats is an on-going process. I have NO other fundraising events planned for the 2009-2010 school year. Students can always collect bottles and cans and return them to the Recycle Center. We made $580 at our car wash on August 29, which will assist students who may need scholarship support.

If you have suggestions for fundraisers, please let me know. I prefer the type of fundraiser that asks students to get out there and work for the funds, as opposed to the selling of goods. My belief is the harder they work for the trip the more it will mean to them.

Two new fundraising opportunities:

  • Can & Bottle Drive
  • Read-A-Thon - We have always had good success with our core read-a-thons. This would be a fantastic way to get kids to read during the summer (all year round actually) and help out the retreat fund at the same time.