The Funhouse offers several programs to serve the youth of Orcas Island. These include the After School Program, the Mentor Program, Teen Night Programs, Education Programs and the Funhouse Science Fair.
We provide a safe, educational place for children to hang out after school. Everyday we have 25-40 children, ages 7-16, at The Funhouse taking part in structured play, working on the computers, exploring the science museum, playing music, or watching a video from our extensive library of educational (and fun) titles. These programs provide basic services (Homework Club – an adult volunteer or older teen helping children complete their homework) and enhancements the children can find nowhere else (such as Arts and Crafts, Video Making/Editing, Weird Science, Photography, Folk Arts, and more).
Our After School Programming also incorporates Funhouse Running Club, with adult runners volunteering to teach children about health and nutrition through distance running.
We need volunteers, contact Krista at 376-7177 for more info.
Our Mentor Program is perhaps the most important thing we do. We have a model program in place, one that provides our children with traditional one-on-one mentor matches, and several types of project-based matches that link a caring adult with a small group of children. We match seniors with children, and teens with children. We even have a unique and innovative program that enhances the schools’ education programs: Mentored Online Learning. We know these programs are effective. We read it in the evaluations, we see it in the progress the children display, we see it in our school’s success as one of Washington’s “Outperforming School Districts.”
An incredible 9% of all the children on the island are involved in Funhouse Mentor Programs. Perhaps even more important, school counselors consider more than 80% of those children ‘at risk’ economically, emotionally, or both. During the course of a year our program may touch the lives of 100 or more children (almost 20% of the island’s children).
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can become a mentor!
During the mid-1990s Orcas Island was experiencing an exceedingly high rate of alcohol and drug use by our local youth, and families were concerned for their children. This growing concern resulted in nine community forums in 1998, all involving a broad spectrum of students in grades 6-12 who were highly verbal about the serious problems of alcohol and drug use among their peers. When asked what they needed most from their community, these teens unanimously answered: a safe place to hang out, especially on weekend nights. When The Funhouse opened its doors in September 2000, our first goal was to fulfill this need. To this day, Teen Night provides a lively, safe, and supervised place where 20-40 teens meet and socialize every Friday and Saturday night.
Teen Night Programs go beyond just Friday nights, we also provide safe and fun all-night parties for Graduation Night and New Year’s Eve – two of the most dangerous nights of the year for teens. Year-round events, dances, and parties are organized with the help of our “Teen Advisory Board,” which gets the kids involved and provides great leadership training.
Get involved, contact Krista at email@example.com!
Our newest program category incorporates three key activities designed to help Orcas Children succeed beyond high school: Online Learning, SAT Test Preparation, and College Counseling.
We provide online classes for full high school credit to nearly 50 Orcas Public School students every school year. We also organized Orcas Island’s first-ever Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) Preparation Classes, which have served dozens of kids, along with our annual “Get Off The Rock” College Counseling Series for Orcas Island students and families.
These educational programs grew out of our Mentor Program, when we learned early on that kids taking Online Classes were greatly helped if matched with a community mentor who had expertise in the subject being studied. In fact, The Funhouse has been recognized as an innovative program by The Digital Learning Commons, which provides online programs to all Washington State schools.
Not only does our Online Learning program open up otherwise unavailable subjects (e.g., Japanese, German, Chinese, Greek & Roman Mythology, Screenwriting, Web Design, and more) for our students, it is also an invaluable tool for helping kids at risk of dropping out catch up and graduate.
The annual Funhouse Science Fair is a regular success. More than 100 kids participate, including terrific entries from most neighboring islands.
The “Richie Moore Rocketship of Wonder” is awarded to the ‘Best of Show’ project by our Wizard Judges.
The Science Fair is sponsored and supported by generous Orcas Island Community Members and Local Businesses.