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Best Nonprofit Serving Children 

A Q&A with Family Access Network

Family Access Network began meeting the needs of Oregon families in 1993. Since then, the organization has expanded its scope from Deschutes County to greater Central Oregon, now serving almost every school district in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties.

FAN Executive Director Julie Lyche tells Bend Nest more about the program.

click to enlarge MAILE MASON
  • Maile Mason

How did Family Access Network come about?

It started with a small group of community leaders talking about how we could break down more of the barriers to student success. Together, we decided that helping children do well in school was our top goal, because we know that success in school can be such a springboard for success in life.

How exactly does FAN help kids to succeed in school?

FAN advocates are the key to bringing students together with the organizations that can meet their needs. We have a steering committee of about 25 partners – Saving Grace, Neighbor Impact, Mosaic Medical, Bethlehem Inn – who meet every other month to talk about how we can keep families in need from falling through the cracks.

Is FAN available at every K-12 school?

We are in all the public schools in Central Oregon except Culver, which is its own small district. We serve all children ages zero to 18, so even children not yet in the school system can meet with an advocate at the school where they will attend kindergarten.

What about home-schooled children?

We are here to help all children. Anyone not enrolled in public school can meet with the FAN advocate at their nearest school site.

The FAN website lists many ways volunteers can help. Are there particular areas that are a priority right now?

There are different opportunities throughout the year. Volunteers who sign up will receive emails whenever a need arises. Currently, there’s a fundraising event, the Bend Marathon, which could use some help, there’s clothing closet work and we could use some help distributing school supplies.

Is there a way to describe the mission of the FAN program in just a few words?

Absolutely: to help kids succeed and flourish, in school and in life.

Family Access Network
2125 NE Daggett Ln., Bend.

(541) 693-5675
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