Community Education

On August 3-5 and August 10-12, the Zonta Club of the Coos Bay Area held our second Girls Rock it Tools & Trade (“GRiTT”) summer program. In partnership with Oregon Coast Artisan & Trade Education Collective and Alternative Youth Activities, sixteen girls ages 8-12 learned how to use hammers and electric drills/screwdrivers to build toolboxes and cold frame garden boxes. Each GRiTT camper was able to decorate their project and take it home, and cold frame campers also got a bucket of dirt and a packet of seeds to get them started on winter gardening.

Member Jen Shafer has helped develop and coordinate the GRITT program along with help from many community members. A Big thanks to Rick Stillwagon and Kell Smith from OCATEC, Darlene Elliott and Kimberly Wenbourne from AYA, and Zontians Margaret Melvin and Julie Brecke for being our “Instructors” throughout the program. Special thanks to Genelle Hanken for arranging the wonderful lunches and snacks, and for ALL of her support. Many thanks to Zontians Alissa Pruess, Lindi Quinn, Margery Whitmer, Terri Turi, and Charlene Moore for volunteering. And BBQ kudos to Greg Dalton for helping with our Friday lunches!

We are also grateful to our lineup of guest speakers who took time out of their day to speak to us – North Bend Mayor Jessica Engelke, IBEW electrician Alysia Borgogno, South Slough Reserve intern Colleen Walker, Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins, Master Gardner and Lady Bug Landing director Renee Blom, and engineer and owner of Sol Coast Consulting and Design Shannon Souza.

The camp was made possible with support from the folks mentioned above as well as a generous grant from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund.