Rural Kids Face Opportunity Gap – Oregon Community Foundation “GO Kids”

By Jerry Spegman
Low-income children, rural children, and children of color face an opportunity gap in Oregon which has far-reaching implications for their personal achievement and well-being, and for the vitality of our communities as well. This opportunity gap is documented in a 2017 report by the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) entitled Toward a Thriving Future: Closing the Opportunity Gap for Oregon (

OCF is currently launching its “Giving Opportunities to Kids” initiative – or GO Kids. The plan is to:
(1) spotlight the toxic effects of the opportunity gap on children, families and the prosperity of our communities, state, and country;
(2) trigger ideas for local solutions, motivating and catalyzing action; and
(3) engage volunteers, partners, and civic leaders in innovative and effective place-based efforts to close the opportunity gap.

Volunteer steering committees for GO Kids have been established in eight regions across the state, including here on the North Coast. As a member of the steering committee I have been reaching out to individuals who are addressing the opportunity gap in Tillamook County, learning about their work, their community partners, the challenges they face and the gains they are making.
All children in Oregon deserve the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their economic status, race, geographic location, or other circumstances of their birth. You can read more about GO Kids at And if you’d like to be part of this effort, please contact me at or 503-804-6926.