WELCOME TO THE 2020/2021 SCHOOL YEAR!

Serendipity has just completed its first month of school and our staff and students are doing a remarkable job of adapting to our new virtual reality with creativity and resiliency. We, as always, are committed to supporting our students as we have always done in the past, through our four pillars of education, mental health, transition, and wellness.

As we look into the next few months, however, we know we will face many additional challenges and are evaluating what new supports our students will need throughout this year, and as especially as they transition back into our classrooms when it is safe to do so.

CREATIVE THINKING DURING COVID

Our Garden Manager Nicholas was preparing to compost 50+ pounds of giant zucchini that had overgrown while were on break at the end of the summer, when serendipitously, Taylor, his assistant, had made a loaf of zucchini bread and brought it to share. As they were eating it (in a physically distanced setting) in the garden, she mentioned having made it from one of the giants. Brian, our head chef, immediately signed on to process the rest of them and start making loaves.

We included a loaf in the first Family Food Share of the 2020-2021 school year since it was a way of getting some fresh wholesome food to students and as a reminder of their time at Serendipity (zucchini & pumpkin bread were part of the breakfast menu). In the following weeks, Tyler, Brian’s assistant got in on the project as well and now they plan to continue offering a loaf of zucchini bread in each share for months to come and potentially switch to pumpkin bread when the zucchini runs out. By grating & freezing it in batches, they were able to preserve the harvest and keep a little taste of Serendipity coming to students.

This is a great example of a deepening synergy between the garden and kitchen teams & the delicious result of some creative thinking and rock-solid follow-through that keeps Serendipity staff connected to our kids in tangible ways that go above and beyond education.

We will continue to share our journey with you as we navigate supporting Serendipity students in this challenging year. We are so grateful to have you as part of our community of supporters, and we hope you are well and thriving even as we all face difficult times.

 

We set a very ambitious goal of $240,000 for our 2019–2020 Four Pillar Fund campaign and we triumphantly came within $4,000 of that goal!

Our community rose to the challenge magnificently to support Serendipity as we navigated a world where school was closed and events to celebrate and support our school were cancelled. Through all of these obstacles you were there for Serendipity and we were overwhelmed by your commitment, kindness, and generosity.

Your donations to the 2019–2020 Four Pillar Fund were essential to serving students during an unexpected and unprecedented period of distance learning. This fund allowed for virtual art therapy, the continued cultivation and harvest of our garden and farm, and the physical and technical preparations necessary for Serendipity to reopen.  

The pride exhibited by our four graduating seniors and the joy displayed in the virtual talent show can be directly traced to the individuals and corporations that invested in the care of our students. Even the act of converting learning to another setting and another format, as challenging as this can be, helped shine a light on what it takes to be resilient. Our resiliency has grown through the support of Serendipity’s friends and investors.  

We truly cannot thank you enough for your extraordinary generosity.

Belinda Marier, Executive Director

We are so excited to welcome Kevin Thompson, Serendipity’s new Vice Principal!

Below is a short video from Kevin introducing himself and sharing a little bit of his background and passion for working with the students at Serendipity.

In Kevin’s own words to the staff in his introductory email:
“I’m super excited to work with you all and help you navigate instruction and classroom management in the current climate of distance learning and beyond. I know from first-hand experience the unique challenges presented by the students we serve, and I consider it my job to ensure that teachers have everything they need to do their jobs well.”

All of us here at Serendipity are thrilled to have Kevin join our management team. His experience and enthusiasm will be invaluable as we continue to navigate the unique and challenging times ahead!

MAKING A CASE FOR GIVING!

Looking for a way to support Serendipity and enjoy some fabulous Stoller Wine this Memorial Day?

Stoller Wine group and Serendipity are partnering to bring you a very special wine offer for the week of May 25 through May 31. Stoller Wine Group will donate 20% of all proceeds from Stoller wine purchased during this one week only. Just use the promo code: SERENDIPITY. Buy a bottle or two, or even better a case of Stoller Wine and support Serendipity.

You can pick up your wine at Stoller Family Estate or Chehalem Tasting Room seven days a week using the convenient drive-thru, or get $10 flat rate shipping on 6 bottles or more. Shipping is on Stoller Wine Group when you buy a case!

This charitable donation is valid for one week only. So, whether it’s a bottle or a case, shop now and give back!

Link to Stoller online store

Link to Chelahem online store

WHILE THE PANDEMIC HAS CHANGED OUR WORLD DRAMATICALLY…

Serendipity’s commitment to providing special education together with emotional and behavioral growth remains unchanged. Our teachers and mental health clinicians work diligently each day to continue to deliver our unique model of special education, weaving mental health treatment into each student’s day.

As you can imagine, delivering mental health treatment from a distance has created new challenges for all of us. Working together, our students and case managers have demonstrated flexibility and resilience in their efforts to receive and provide mental health counseling remotely.

Our incredible team of mental health specialists is led by our Treatment Director, Jackie Trussell, who has a personal message to share with you in the video below.

 YES, TODAY IS #GivingTUESDAYNow…
BUT WE ARE RENAMING IT #GivingTHANKSTuesday

I wanted to reach out to all of our staff, supporters and donors with my deepest appreciation for your incredible support of Serendipity at this time. We have all come together as one community to support special education and mental health treatment at a time when our students and their families face more challenges than ever before.

To our Serendipity staff, an enormous thank you for demonstrating incredible resilience and the ability to adapt and master new methods of delivering special education and mental health treatment. Through your dedication, Serendipity has continued to deliver our Four Pillar Model without interruption during this unprecedented school closure.

To all of our friends, supporters and donors, an enormous thank you for supporting our urgent COVID-19 Fund to provide food for our students and technology for our teachers. We truly could not have done it without you.

I acknowledge each and every one of you with pride and awe. I’d like to express my gratitude with a short video.

Belinda Marier,
Executive Director

THANKS TO EVERYONE (INCLUDING THIS PAST WEEK’S DONORS BELOW) WHO DONATED TO MEET OUR URGENT TECHNOLOGY AND FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS! WE ARE SO APPRECIATIVE OF YOUR SUPPORT!


Whether it’s teachers putting together lesson packets or case managers checking in on families, Serendipity is doing our utmost to meet the needs of our students. Today we want to highlight what the staff has been doing to deliver Family Food Shares to our students and their families during this difficult economic time. This includes:

-Combined donations from Pacific Foods, Bob’s Red Mill & Dave’s Killer Bread, along with garden produce & items from the kitchen to make a share of complete meals including recipes.
-Collaboration between garden staff, food service, case managers & interventionists to identify families, harvest, clean, pack & deliver shares.
-Delivery every other Friday, with two deliveries so far (4/10 & 4/24). The first share was delivered to 14 families, and the second to 23 famlies.

Above is a video that Nicolas, our Growing Minds Garden Manager and Taylor, his assistant, put together with the help of Brian, our head chef (and pinch-hit videographer) to update the kids on what has been happening in the garden while the school has been closed. The garden is an essential part of our students’ lives when they are on campus and it is important for them to witness the growing and changing that is occurring even though they can’t physically be there.

We are so appreciative of all our staff and teachers and their adaptability and continued pursuit of excellence during these past few months of closures!

YOUR INCREDIBLE GENEROSITY HAS HELPED US COVER THE COSTS OF DELIVERING DISTANCE LEARNING AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES VIRTUALLY TO OUR STUDENTS!

For the last few weeks, we have reached out to you with the urgent needs we have encountered with the onset of COVID-19 and what Serendipity is doing to serve our students as we navigate this unprecedented school closure. Thank you to everyone displayed in the image below who responded so generously last week!

  • This is how we are using your donations:
    To ensure that our students and families don’t go hungry we have spent $1,550 on grocery store gift cards which have been delivered along with vegetables grown on our farm by staff to our students’ homes. Our students love to be able to see their teachers from their windows.
  • We have spent $2,600 on software licenses for Educational and Assessment platforms to continue to deliver Education and Mental Health services to our students as we transitioned to distance learning.
  • We have spent $2,000 in art supplies and mailing packets to ensure that our students can continue to participate in both projects and Art Therapy at home. We continue to mail curriculum packets home to students who struggle to learn digitally.

Your continued generosity will help us to provide for our students as we navigate distance learning!

Please donate here to the COVID-19 Fund!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Serendipity Friends, Supporters & Donors!

Last week we reached out to you with an update on the new reality we are facing with COVID-19 and what Serendipity is doing to serve our students during this unprecedented school closure. We asked you to consider donating to help us meet two urgent needs – food and technology – and we are so grateful to everyone listed below who responded so generously!

WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP TO MEET OUR MOST URGENT NEEDS!

TECHNOLOGY NEEDS:
Purchasing additional laptops and Cloud accessibility for our teachers and clinical staff to be able to provide online education, and mental health support for our students. Please help us to continue to provide special education and mental health support to our students with a donation to our COVID-19 Fund.

FOOD ASSISTANCE NEEDS:
Serendipity provides breakfast and lunch daily for every student and without these two meals many of our students will go hungry. Please help to feed our students with a donation to our COVID-19 Fund. Serendipity will purchase and distribute grocery store gift cards directly to our families.

PLEASE DONATE NOW by clicking here and choosing COVID-19 Fund in the drop-down menu

We are all in this together! With your help Serendipity will not only survive this crisis but come out of it stronger and more resilient!