“There’s a new group of teens hanging around downtown, but these kids are carrying brooms, not skateboards,” said Chuck Arnold, president of the Bend Downtowners Association. Arnold announced Monday that the Economic Improvement District (EID) has partnered with Chamberlain House to employ students a few days a week to help keep downtown Bend clean. Chamberlain House is a local alternative high school program.
The students, armed with safety vests, gloves, brooms and other implements of cleaning will set out to help maintain downtown sidewalks, alleys and plazas. In exchange for their efforts, the teens will receive high school credit, community service hours and other incentives. Students will also earn gift certificates from local businesses after a number of hours of work.
The Chamberlain House is an off-campus facility affiliated with Bend La Pine Schools. The school provides an education to a small group of kids facing significant challenges in their lives that have made them a tough fit for traditional high school. An essential part of the curriculum is creating opportunities for the students to have a role in improving their community. This effort provides students with a sense of accomplishment and creates a stronger connection with their environment.
The Economic Improvement District is a tax assessment district created and funded by property owners in downtown Bend to improve the area. The District is managed by the Bend Downtowners Association. The partnership between the Chamberlain House and the District will help both groups by empowering students and keeping downtown Bend well-maintained.