The Whatcom County Health Department has committed staff, consultants, and some project funding for a Birch Bay-Blaine Thrives planning initiative. This community-driven, representative group has been working since summer on setting a healthy vision for the Birch Bay, Blaine, and Pt. Roberts communities so that all children, youth, and families can thrive. Existing assets, including the Healthy Youth Coalition, the Boys & Girls Club, the Senior Center, and the Up-Standers (student group) have been identified, as well as areas needing increased support.
Earlier this year, an anonymous Community Survey provided residents with an opportunity to share their perspectives on school and community strengths, youth behaviors, parental concerns, etc. Many families indicated a desire for increased engagement with schools and each other. On December 5, the District held a Family Resource Fair with 57 participating service organizations represented to connect with over 200 parents and students that attended. In early 2019, Blaine Middle School will host a 7-week Strengthening Families Program to help parents and youth learn to make the most of the Teen Years. The Health Department has agreed, as part of the initiative, to help fund a pilot Communities in Schools affiliation which will provide a site coordinator to partner initially with Blaine Primary School to help meet student needs. Initiative members are considering a Drug-Free Communities Grant and other funding sources to continue and strengthen this formal networking of Birch Bay-Blaine Thrives.
Through these and other outreach programs, the Birch Bay-Blaine Thrives initiative is working to achieve our District communities' collective vision for thriving families.
(updated January 2, 2019)