We’re Harnessing the Power of Moms!

We’re Harnessing the Power of Moms!

Moms are tenacious. Moms are strong. And most importantly, moms give all they’ve got to make sure their kids have what they need.  

We need tenacity and strength from moms in our movement!  

We know that a brighter future for our state rests on a foundation of love and care for every child. When you join us, you’re becoming part of a movement to build a socially just and equitable future for generations of Oregon’s children.  

You’re also making a strong statement by affirming that:  

Every child has the right to be loved and cared for.  

It takes a village to raise a child

Collectively, we can make Oregon the greatest place to be a child, regardless of race, income, or geography. 

If you are a mom or know a mom who wants to help children in communities across the state, we’d love for you to get involved and spread the word! 

“As we live out the CI mission of shifting systems towards justice for all children, we are saying to every single child, ‘I love you. I see you.’” – Kali Thorne Ladd, CEO, Children’s Institute 

Continuous Improvement Specialist

Continuous Improvement Specialist

Title: Continuous Improvement Specialist

Reports to: Director of Programs

Location: Children’s Institute, downtown Portland or remote work based on office open/closed status, travel to community/partner meetings

Job Classification: Full-time/exempt

Salary: Starting at $83,000 (Children’s Institute is in the process of developing an equityfocused compensation structure)

Closing: Applications must be received by 5 pm on June 27, 2022

To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter to jobs-CIS@childinst.org with “Continuous Improvement Specialist” in the subject line. Please contact Hanan Zawideh, Chief Equity and Human Resources Officer, at hanan@childinst.org with accommodations requests.

Children’s Institute (CI) envisions a socially just and equitable Oregon where all children have the love, care, and education they need. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development, the most effective strategies to improve long-term outcomes for children, with a focus on children who experience barriers to opportunity due to race, poverty, disability, language, and geographic location.

Our advocacy and implementation efforts strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work to ensure that more children who experience barriers to opportunity succeed in kindergarten and meet third grade benchmarks.

CI prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach; a flexible, collegial work environment; and a culture of inclusion and belonging.

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In collaboration with team members, they will engage in supportive processes and practices of inclusive work culture. The individual in this role will have the skills to support and promote the assets of those furthest from opportunity.

Position Description

The Continuous Improvement Specialist is an integral member of the Children’s Institute program team, ensuring that our work with school districts and other key partners is informed by research in child development, equity, and improvement research. The Continuous Improvement Specialist supports CI’s program implementation efforts through facilitating improvement, co-developing, and designing shared learning opportunities with our school district partners to better align preschool with the early elementary grades. This includes working collaboratively with the internal CI program team, communications team, policy and advocacy team, and external partners to ensure that our work leads toward sustainable changes beyond our pilot districts.   

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In collaboration with team members, they will engage in supportive processes and practices of an inclusive work culture. The individual in this role will have the skills to support and advance meaningful inclusion and self-determination of marginalized communities within programmatic work.   

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will participate in state-level advisory groups, committees, and teams as needed to connect statewide policy with on-the-ground learnings. This aspect of the work will be done in coordination with other CI teams including the Policy, Advocacy and Community Engagement (PACE) team.  

The Continuous Improvement Specialist will work alongside the Director of Programs, Director of Research and Strategy, and program team members with a passion for closing the educational opportunity gap, particularly in a child’s earliest years.  

Essential Job Duties

  • Co-designs, implements, and helps refine facilitation processes aligned with improvement science and human-centered design to support ESS school district partners to develop the mindsets and tools to support their continuous improvement efforts 
  • Integrates racial justice and equity principles into strategies while facilitating improvement sessions with educators and instructional leaders  
  • Provides expertise and guidance to partner school districts in instructional leadership, child development, and classroom practices that support the optimal learning environments for young children from preschool through the early elementary grades 
  • Establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with a range of educators, including administrators and teachers, to support the ongoing continuous improvement work with partner districts   
  • Establishes action steps and identifies available resources, materials, and recommendations to strengthen implementation and practice based on partners’ improvement goals and change ideas   
  • Serves as a resource in identifying appropriate, research-based instructional strategies and interventions to improve outcomes for children and families 
  • Uses empathy data and evaluation data to help inform district partner plans for Early School Success  
  • Participates in ongoing Program Team meetings, ESS team meetings, and professional development 
  • Identifies and lifts up strategies with measurable impact to inform the expansion and scale-up of our work, including informing research, policy, and practice 
  • Participates in statewide advisory groups, committees, and teams as needed

Position Qualifications

  • Experience facilitating successful educational change efforts focused on increased student achievement and engagement  
  • Classroom teaching and/or school leadership experience in birth to five settings  
  • Demonstrated content knowledge relevant to birth to age 8 and ability to discern and synthesize research into action  
  • Master’s Degree in Education or related field (Preferred)  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and leadership in effective school change efforts centered around human-centered design improvement efforts and the alignment of preschool and K-3/5 systems and practices   
  • Excellent writing skills with the ability to quickly absorb and explain complex information and interpret ideas for a variety of audiences   
  • A passion for CI’s mission and ability to research and match state and national funder interests with CI’s work  
  • Excellent verbal communication skills with demonstrated ability to build trust and rapport with a range of stakeholders including district administrators, researchers, teachers, and CI staff  
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and strategic thinking skills  
  • Demonstrated ability to be a thought partner with senior leadership and to work effectively as part of a team

    Any satisfactory combination of experience and education that ensures the ability of an individual to perform the duties and responsibilities of this position may substitute for the stated qualifications. 

      Benefits

      • Employer fully paid medical/dental coverage
      • Employer fully paid long-term disability coverage
      • Employer fully paid life insurance, accidental death, and employee assistance plan
      • 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan with qualified match and contribution
      • 125 Flexible Benefits Plan
      • Generous paid time off, sick leave, and holidays

      Equal Employment Statement

      Children’s Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of CI to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental and physical ability, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions. Personnel actions include recruitment, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Relations between employees shall be based on mutual respect, and regard for the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.

      Physical Demands

      The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

      • While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to remain in a stationary position 50% of the time
      • The employee is frequently required to talk or hear
      • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
      • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus

      Reasonable Accommodation Statement

      Consistent with applicable disability law, Children’s Institute will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential function of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of CI.

      Finance & Operations Assistant

      Finance & Operations Assistant

      Title: Finance & Operations Assistant

      Reports to: Finance & Operations Manager

      Location: Children’s Institute, downtown Portland or remote work based on office open/closed status, travel to community/partner meetings

      Job Classification: Part-time, hourly, 10-15 hours per week, Non-exempt

      Salary: Hourly at $25/hr

      Closing: Open until filled

      To Apply: Please email resume and cover letter to jobs@childinst.org with “Finance & Operations Assistant” in the subject line. A brief skills test will be requested of finalists during the interview process. Please contact Hanan Zawideh, Chief Equity and Human Resources Officer, at hanan@childinst.org with accommodations requests.

      Children’s Institute (CI) envisions a socially just and equitable Oregon where all children have the love, care, and education they need. To meet this goal, we advocate for strategic investments in high-quality early childhood education and healthy development, the most effective strategies to improve long-term outcomes for children, with a focus on children who experience barriers to opportunity due to race, poverty, disability, language, and geographic location.

      Our advocacy and implementation efforts strive to connect research, lived experience, and community voice as we work to ensure that more children who experience barriers to opportunity succeed in kindergarten and meet third grade benchmarks.

      CI prioritizes an integrated, team-based work approach; a flexible, collegial work environment; and a culture of inclusion and belonging.

      The Finance & Operations Assistant will have a demonstrated personal and professional commitment to advancing racial and economic justice. In collaboration with team members, they will engage in supportive processes and practices of inclusive work culture. The individual in this role will have the skills to support and promote the assets of those furthest from opportunity.

      Position Description

      The Finance & Operations Assistant, reporting directly to the Finance & Operations Manager (FOM), provides proactive and ongoing support to finance, operations, and other organization functions. The Finance & Operations Assistant will primarily serve as support to the organization’s finance functions and help ensure that the basic operations run effectively and efficiently. They will manage the invoice/AP process and will provide support and data entry for other functions such as corporate credit card accounting, contributions/AR, support in contracting, and other general financial functions. Additionally, they will support general operations as necessary.

      The Finance & Operations Assistant must understand and support the organization’s mission, vision, and values and be able to clearly articulate the organization’s function.

      Essential Job Duties

      Finance

      • Accounts payable: manage organizational internal invoice procedures, process vendor invoices and approved check requests, print checks, obtain signature(s), mail to respective vendor, file paperwork
      • Accounts receivable: record deposits, record incoming funds, and proactively track receivables
      • Collaborate with the development team to reconcile revenue, notify of gifts received to ensure timely preparation of gift invoices and acknowledgements
      • Corporate credit cards: manage organizational process around credit card usage including ensuring proper documentation is received and entered in QuickBooks for each transaction and monthly reconciliation
      • Manage petty cash usage, reconcile on a monthly basis, ensure balance is maintained for office needs
      • Accurately enter other transactions into QuickBooks as requested
      • Assist FOM in preparation for monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting requirements and preparation for audit and 990
      • Donor database: assist with data entry, list/report generation, and tasks to ensure the quality and maintenance of the database
      • Run business errands, i.e., bank, post office, supplies, business lunches, as needed
      • Maintain AP and AR document files

      Other Responsibilities

      • As needed, support the Operations team, and provide ongoing organization-wide support to special projects
      • Perform other duties as assigned

      Position Qualifications

      Any satisfactory combination of experience and education that ensures the ability of an individual to perform the duties and responsibilities of this position may substitute for the stated qualifications.

      While we recognize that candidates may not possess all the following qualifications, ideal candidates will have demonstrated experience and understanding of basic bookkeeping tasks. College students or those with the need for 10-15 hours per week are encouraged to apply.

      • Associate degree in business, finance, accounting, or related field preferred
      • 2 to 3 years of finance/accounting/bookkeeping experience
      • Experience using MS Office, Word, Excel, and similar office applications
      • Experience using QuickBooks or other nonprofit accounting software
      • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
      • Dedicated to efficient productivity
      • Ability to work independently and to work collaboratively in a team
      • Ability to anticipate and solve problems, pay attention to details, and follow through
      • Self-starter, flexible, motivated, and able to take initiative
      • The ability to keep information confidential is required

      Benefits

      CI Benefits are prorated for partial FTE and based on meeting plan thresholds

      • Pro-rated paid time off, sick leave, and holidays

      Equal Employment Statement

      Children’s Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of CI to provide equal employment opportunity in accordance with applicable law to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, military status, political opinion, national origin, familial status, mental and physical ability, source of income, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in all personnel actions. Personnel actions include recruitment, selection, promotion, compensation, training, and termination. Relations between employees shall be based on mutual respect, and regard for the effectiveness and well-being of the organization.

      Physical Demands

      The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

      • While performing the duties of this job, the employee must be able to remain in a stationary position 50% of the time
      • The employee is frequently required to talk or hear
      • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
      • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus

      Reasonable Accommodation Statement

      Consistent with applicable disability law, Children’s Institute will provide reasonable accommodations to assist qualified applicants or employees with disabilities to participate in the job application process, to perform the essential function of a job, and to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment applicable to similarly situated employees without disabilities, provided the accommodation would not impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of CI.

      CI Announces Kali Thorne Ladd as Incoming CEO

      CI Announces Kali Thorne Ladd as Incoming CEO

      The Children’s Institute board of directors is delighted to announce Kali Thorne Ladd as our incoming chief executive officer. She joins us from KairosPDX, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating educational opportunity and achievement gaps for historically underserved children. She has served as executive director since its founding in 2012 and will assume her role as CEO at Children’s Institute in mid-September. 

      Thorne Ladd co-founded KairosPDX as a culturally specific organization and school that uses a holistic approach to education in a way that embraces identity and empowerment. 

      Through that work, and as a visionary leader in multiple capacities in the region, Thorne Ladd has a long track record of working to transform early learning and healthy development for children and families in Oregon. This has included serving as the chair of the board for Portland Community College, serving on Governor Brown’s Early Learning Council, and serving on the board at the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation based in Portland. 

      “I’ve worked with Kali in numerous capacities over the years and am thrilled to have her lead this next chapter for Children’s Institute,” said John Tapogna, Children’s Institute’s board chair. 

      Thorne Ladd has also worked on education strategies in the mayor’s office in the City of Portland and at the Oregon Department of Education. She holds a master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology from Boston College. 

      “This is an exciting time for early childhood in Oregon and nationally,” Thorne Ladd said. “This role provides an opportunity to elevate the importance of early childhood for diverse demographics of children and families across the state. I’m looking forward to bringing in more Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous voices to share their stories and their solutions.”

      Her priorities include centering the needs of children as we move forward as a state and as a nation. “We have so many solutions at our fingertips here in Oregon, so many promising practices, and so many investments happening locally and federally,” Thorne Ladd said. “As we implement, we’ll really begin to see more children thrive.”

      The Children’s Institute board thanks Karen Twain for providing outstanding leadership for the organization as interim chief executive officer over the past eight months. In September, Twain will return to her previous role as director of programs overseeing the work of Children’s Institute’s two initiatives working with school communities in Oregon, Early School Success and Early Works.

      Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson Honored with Alexander Award

      Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson Honored with Alexander Award

      Children’s Institute is pleased to honor Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson with the Alexander Award for her efforts to implement a universal preschool program in Multnomah County. The Preschool for All ballot measure, which passed in November, 2020 with the support of 64 percent of voters, was the culmination of nine months of work by a task force led by Commissioner Vega Pederson and including leaders from the public, private, and social sectors. CI will honor Commissioner Vega Pederson at a virtual event on October 12, 2021.

      Preschool for All will provide free high-quality, developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive preschool experiences to 3- and 4-year-olds in Multnomah County. According to Commissioner Vega Pederson, “Preschool for All will create a preschool system that provides our children with the supportive, joyful learning environments they need to thrive, while alleviating a huge financial burden and barrier to participation in the workforce for families, and particularly for women.”

      Commissioner Vega Pederson has a long history of successful advocacy and has served as County Commissioner since 2016. Her approach to offering free, high-quality preschool while also increasing wages for preschool teachers has received national attention as a potential model for the rest of the country. John Tapogna, CI’s board chair and the president of ECONorthwest, says, “Access to high-quality preschool can change the trajectory of a child’s life. Thanks to Jessica’s vision and hard work, all children in Multnomah County will have access to the early learning opportunities they need to thrive, in kindergarten and beyond.”

      More about the Alexander Award

      The Alexander Award is named for prominent Oregon leader Dick Alexander and was first awarded by Children’s Institute to Governor John Kitzhaber in 2013 for his work building Oregon’s early childhood system. Since then, the award has recognized individual leaders such as Ken Thrasher and Sue Miller and communities like Wallowa County for significant work to improve the lives of young children. Beyond honoring individual leaders and communities, the Alexander Award calls attention to the need for business and civic leaders to work together to build a system of programs and services to support children’s healthy development and school readiness in order to ensure Oregon’s future success.

      Related Links

      Multnomah County Commissioner Discusses Preschool for All

      How an Oregon Measure for Universal Preschool Could Be a National Model

      Preschool for All Report

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