Media Release: Clackamas County announces children’s free rain boot program

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Playing in the rain while wearing yellow rainboots

Today, the Early Learning Hub of Clackamas County launched the “Make a Splash!” children’s free rain boot program through Oct. 25, 2019 or while supplies last. This program will provide free Oaki rain boots to children ages 6 and younger who qualify for income assistance programs.

“Playing outside rain or shine helps children develop their imaginations, fine and gross motor skills, scientific thinking, and problem solving,” said Chelsea Hamilton, Early Learning Program Planner for Clackamas County’s Children, Family and Community Connections Division.

Whether it's going outside for a walk in the rain, practicing skipping rocks on the river or digging for worms in the backyard, The Early Learning Hub of Clackamas County wants to encourage all children and their families to explore, have fun, learn, and play!

Early Learning Hub officials at the county approached Oaki, a Vancouver, Wash.-based company, about the need of young children for rain boots in Clackamas County. Oaki officials agreed to partner for this program and have been instrumental in its success over the past three years.

Oaki believes in being outdoors: “Exploring and learning in the outdoors is an essential part of childhood development. We believe exploration and exposure to our natural environment will open doors to greater possibilities for learning. Outdoor gear allows children to explore their natural environment, while staying safe and dry.”

The Early Learning Hub of Clackamas County is an organized group of people supporting children, prenatally through six years and their families. There are 16 Early Learning Hubs in Oregon that collaborate with early childhood programs to translate the research on early development into result-oriented interventions and programs. One of the Hub goals is for children to be supported to enter school ready to succeed, and “Make a Splash!” is one of many programs that offer children that opportunity.

“Giving our children every opportunity to live healthy and active lives both indoors and outdoors benefits their physical and emotional well-being while creating memories that last a lifetime,” said Richard Swift, Director of Clackamas County’s Health, Housing and Human Services Department. “Stomping in puddles makes everyone smile!”

Families who live in Clackamas County with children ages 6 and younger that qualify for any income-assistance program are eligible for free rain boots. The qualifying programs include:

  • Oregon Trail card
  • OHP/CHIP
  • Section 8
  • WIC - eWIC card
  • Free/reduced school lunch
  • TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)
  • Head Start
  • Foster child/foster family

Community partners serving eligible families can submit a request form on their behalf. The Early Learning Hub will coordinate the delivery of the boots to the partnering organizations and distribution to families.

Apply for free rain boots and find a pick up location at https://makeasplashclackam.wixsite.com/boots. Please email makeasplashclackamas@gmail.com or call 503-650-5682 for more information.

Updated September 19, 2019. 4:07 p.m.