THE OREGON MASONIC CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The Oregon Masonic Charitable Foundation (OMCF) is a 501 (c) 3, and its mission is to support the education and safety of children and youth. It does so through the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program (MMSAP), Youth Transition Program (YTP) and the Masonic Child ID program.
1. Masonic Model Student Assistance Program
MMSAP is a school-based early intervention program K-12 students focused on training any school staff how to identify and assist students whose behavior, attendance, health and/or academic performance indicate they may have problems threatening their school success. These problems include learning disability, substance abuse, peer pressure, socialization issues, dysfunctional family situation, school environment, and more.
Oregon, particularly the Willamette Valley has the distinction of being a Federal-designated High Drug Trafficking Area. Pervasive drug abuse, unemployment, and increased pressure from academic rigor and peer issues have put hundreds of more children at risk. Research confirms that the likelihood of using drugs/alcohol is determined between the ages of 8 and 11. MMSAP is one more tool in an educator’s toolbox to provide a comprehensive and optimal learning environment.
To date over 700 educators, administrators, and school staff have completed the three-day Oregon MMSAP Training. Toi Gleason after receiving the training wrote, “I’m inspired and determined that we, as a team, can make a difference in the lives of our students.” Jennifer Tymcheek says, “I’m so excited to go back to my school and use these ideas to help Children.” Executive Director William Lay writes, “Without an opportunity for support and education like this our job would be much more difficult. My staff have returned from your classes with energy and confidence. As a small non-profit we could not afford a training program like this.” These are just a few of the responses we have received from those who have attended the MMSAP.
2. Youth Transition Program
The Youth Transition Program (YTP) is an Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services program that serves youth with disabilities statewide. YTP operates as a partnership between Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Oregon Department of Education, and the University of Oregon College of Education. The YTP provides year-round services to youth typically during the last two years of high school and continuing into the early transition years after leaving high school.
All students in the program receive a comprehensive pattern of service designed to address a broad array of transition needs including:
- Individualized planning, focused on post school goals and self determination, and help to coordinate school plans with relevant community agencies;
- Instruction in academic, vocational, independent living, and personal social skills and help to stay in and complete high school;
- Career development services including goal setting, career exploration, job search skills, and self advocacy;
- Emphasis on paid employment such as connections with local employers, development of school-based businesses, on the job assessment and training;
- Support services such as individualized mentoring and support or referrals for additional specific interventions;
- Follow-up support for one year after leaving the program to assist in maintaining positive outcomes in employment or post secondary settings.
3. Masonic Child ID Program
The Child ID Program was created as a resource for Oregon parents to provide free finger-printing and photo identification for children of all ages. Parents are provided with an identification sheet to record the child’s height, weight, hair color and other distinguishing marks. This sheet is mean to provide valuable information to the authorities should a child ever go missing. The entire process takes only a minute and no information is ever recorded or stored on computer equipment.
The Masonic Child ID Program has been referenced by state and local law enforcement agencies as their model for establishing this service.
The Masons of Oregon for 158 years have been members of a world wide social service fraternity that exists to contribute to the world through charity, and by actions that reinforce honesty, compassion and trust. Nationally, Masons have adopted MMSAP as a focus and in Oregon we wholeheartedly support the national commitment. The MMSAP three-day training can accommodate 60 people, and costs between $25,000 & $45,000, and is offered free of charge to the attendees. We believe so strongly in the training and its ability to enable educators that it should be a natural extension of their ongoing professional development. However, in unstable economic times where our schools have depleted professional development budgets, our schools have difficulty affording time for teachers to be out of the classroom, let alone the registration and training material costs for MMSAP.