Southern Oregon Success Fall Events List

Innovation Network Begins with a Design Team & a Prioritized Workstream

As part of our transition from a traditional board/staff governance model to a more design-focused Innovation Network model, Southern Oregon Success has formed its first design team and chosen a dual generation approach to Kindergarten Readiness as the Network’s first prioritized workstream.

The Innovation Network model comes to our region courtesy of CoCreative, a national consulting firm that specializes in effective collaboration. With support from the Gordon Elwood Foundation and the Ford Family Foundation, CoCreative has been working with Southern Oregon Success over the last several months to make the change to a more flexible, hands-on, design-centered way of working together.

The shift changes our collaboration to a network model where a small design team reviews data and existing work in the region, brainstorms on new strategies and goals, engages in interviews with systems leaders as well as “voices of experience”— local people facing the challenges we’re trying to address—and brings information, ideas and proposals to the greater Network, made up of people from all of our partner organizations and communities throughout Jackson and Josephine counties.

The Network then brainstorms and designs strategies, pilots and prototypes to make progress towards shared specific, ambitious and timebound goals, meeting twice a year to measure that progress and build on the work together.

“There has been such great foundational work over a number of years in building the relationships that make up our collaboration,” states Program Manager Peter Buckley. “There’s been great momentum built up as well by our work with ACEs and resilience in the region. The Innovation Network model now gives us a way to deepen and accelerate our work for better outcomes for children, families and communities.”

As part of the transition, the first Design Team for the Southern Oregon Success Innovation Network has been chosen. The team members are Todd Bloomquist from the Grants Pass School District, Rene Brandon from Southern Oregon Early Learning Services (SOELS), Kathy Bryon from the Gordon Elwood Foundation, John King from Southern Oregon University, Belle Shepherd from the Oregon Health Authority, and Buckley, representing the collaboration’s backbone operation with the Southern Oregon Education Service District.

The Design Team has worked with CoCreative and the current Southern Oregon Success Steering Committee to review current workstreams, and to decide on our first prioritized workstream to engage with the full network process. Given all that has been learned from our previous work, including our strategy map effort in 2018-19, the discussion quickly centered on the need to work upstream as much as possible, and to make sure we are taking a dual generation approach that will not only have positive  impacts on current children and families, but future families as well.

With SOELS taking lead on efforts focused on preconception to age 5 to increase Kindergarten Readiness, Southern Oregon Success is now working to not only support and partner in SOELS’ work, but to also share the goal of Kindergarten Readiness as we take lead on efforts focused on the next generation of parents.

“There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm with this transition,” Buckley reports. “We’re excited to be able to align our work with the Community Health Improvement Plan for our region as well as the introduction and expansion of programs included in the Student Success Act for early childhood and K12 education. We have great partner organizations to work with to make sure the next generation of parents have the skills, information and support they need for all of our families to thrive.”

Strengthening Families Trainings and Workshops in Self-regulation and Resilience to Highlight “Resilience Awareness Month” in November

 Trainings in the evidenced based “Strengthening Families” curriculum as well as open trainings in Understanding ACEs (the Adverse Childhood Experiences study) and workshops in Self-Regulation & Resilience will take place in both Jackson and Josephine counties as part of the third annual “Resilience Awareness Month” in November.

In addition, Rogue Community Health’s annual luncheon, Rogue Way to Health, will also be featured on the Resilience Awareness Month schedule, taking place on Wednesday, November 6 at the Inn at the Commons in Medford. Early reservations are recommended.

The full schedule of events will be announced in early October. If you would like us to include events your organization is hosting in November that focus on resilience for children, families or communities, please email information to

Building Resilient Families Classes Offered by the Family Connection and Southern Oregon Success

RSVP: * 541-734-5150

October 22 till December 17
Meets once per week for 2 hours – Tuesdays 6-8pm

At Central Point Elementary
450 S. 4th Street, Central Point, OR

*Dinner is served, childcare offered for ages 3-10. Completion certificate for 18 parenting education hours available. 

“Now What?” Answered for K12 School Districts

In the three and a half years that Southern Oregon Success and the Southern Oregon ACEs Training Team have been doing presentations on ACEs & Resilience, we’ve reached just under 13,000 people in Jackson and Josephine counties. Almost half of the participants in the training sessions have been educators, and a very common response to the information presented is “Now what?” The information in the training sessions changes how child development is understood and calls into question many longtime educational practices.

Educators also report an increasing number of students struggling with social and emotional skills that are foundational to learning, and are seeking proven ways to help teach those skills.

Change is often challenging, but after being immersed in these issues for years now, we can point to four specific programs/curriculums that answer the question of “Now what?” Each of the programs/curriculums are trauma-informed and compliment and align with each other, and each of the programs/curriculums have solid data to show significant growth and positive outcomes for students:

For Kindergarten into the early elementary school years: the PAX Good Behavior Game.

For all Kindergarten through elementary school classrooms: Positive Discipline.

For all grade levels, but particularly middle schools and high schools: Restorative Justice and the Discovery Program.

No program or curriculum can address every issue and solve every problem, and every program and curriculum requires training and a commitment to implementing it with fidelity. But these four programs/curriculums have proven track records. With new resources coming to school districts next year through the Student Success Act, more of our local schools can, if they choose, introduce or expand efforts to teach social and emotional learning.

It’s exciting to be able to offer a very clear response to “Now what?”

To schedule an ACEs training session or workshop in Self-Regulation & Resilience for any group, or for more information, contact

County Commissioners Asked to Take Action on Climate Change

Sustainable Rogue Valley member Michele Keip was part of a group who spoke with Josephine County Commissioner Dan DeYoung last week. The following is a report posted in the local newspaper, the Daily Courier.

SHAUN HALL/Daily Courier
Josephine County Board of Commissioners member Dan DeYoung, in gray coat, speaks with people concerned about the environment, following a board meeting on Wednesday at the Basker Auditorium. DeYoung said he was willing to meet with them to listen to their views, but that he had some of his own.

By Shaun Hall of the Daily Courier

There were a few heated words about global warming for members of the Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday.

A week after commissioners Dan DeYoung and Darin Fowler were dismissive of fears of climate change, a trio of activists called on the board to take a stand in favor of the environment.

Or else.

“Stop making weak excuses,” longtime local resident Cindy Ogier told DeYoung and fellow commissioner Lily Morgan. “If you don’t act, people will vote you out of office.”

Ogier and Josephine Climate Alliance members Brian DeLaGrange and Michelle Keip attended the board meeting after Fowler last week said the science is “not settled” and DeYoung said full conversion to clean energy, which includes wind and solar power, would put other people in the energy field out of work.

On Wednesday, DeYoung stuck by those words, although he agreed that “climate change is here.” He added, however, that he is a “firm believer in science when science tells the whole story, not just part of it, one side of it.”

Fowler was absent.

DeYoung’s comments came the same day that a grim new report, issued by a United Nations panel, warned that sea levels are rising at an ever-faster rate as ice and snow shrink, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen.

Keip pointed to a recent study showing that bird populations were down significantly, and she urged commissioners to take a stand against special interests and for healthy forests and clean drinking water.

“We need your leadership,” she said.

DeLaGrange, an organizer of last Friday’s climate strike rally outside the county courthouse, said climate change “isn’t some liberal hoax,” and he urged people “to listen to the science.”

“Our futures depend on it,” he said.

DeYoung agreed to meet with DeLaGrange at a later time.

“We’ll just hash it out,” DeYoung said. “It won’t be combative. You can help me understand and maybe I can tell you what I think.”

Morgan, the third member of the county commission, mostly stayed out of the fray and voiced support for recycling. She mentioned that she wasn’t sure how to recycle the huge battery in her Prius, a hybrid electric car. She also congratulated the organizers of the rally “on a successful event.”

“As we talk about not using fossil fuels … I don’t necessarily think carbon’s the bad thing,” she said. “We just have to figure out how to be in balance with it.”

After Wednesday’s meeting, DeYoung wound up speaking with the trio of speakers and a few of their supporters for more than half an hour. The gathering was cordial, with plenty of back and forth.

“I’m not willing to say our economy needs to stop everything we’ve been doing,” he said at one point.

DeYoung also said he was a Republican, but that the issues at hand were nonpartisan.

DeLaGrange said he would speak with DeYoung about “local solutions,” including creation of a clean energy action plan modeled after one adopted by the city of Talent.

“Let’s do this civilly, instead of getting in my face,” DeYoung said.

Ogier said her comment about voter backlash was an effort to gain the attention of Fowler and DeYoung, who she said had “dismissed” climate concerns last week.

“I think he finally got the message,” she said. “When I saw how they treated people, I said, ‘No, that’s not right.’ I do appreciate the fact they do work hard and are willing to listen.”

Ogier, who uses a solar power system to power her home, urged DeYoung to research a town in Texas she said had gone “off the grid.” She said the mayor of the town was a Republican.

Replied DeYoung: “I might give the guy a call.”


Reach reporter Shaun Hall at 541-474-3726 or

Drawdown Solutions: Getting Into Action Workshop


Help solve the

Climate Crisis!

Come explore what we can do together

Project Drawdown is a solid plan to reverse the
concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere,
using proven solutions that already exist.

Come learn more about this realistic plan
and meet others in our community who are
already actively working to make a difference.

We have the means at hand!

#6 Solution – Educate Girls

Drawdown Solutions:
Getting Into Action Workshop

6:00 – 8:30 pm
Monday, September 30,
and Wednesday, October 9, 16, & 23

Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass
129 NW E St, Grants Pass, OR 97526

$20 suggested donation, or as you are able