What is TACE?
In early 2003, the Rotary of Club of Wilsonville entered into a partnership with the only women's prison in Oregon, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF). The goal of the partnership is to provide new opportunities and activities for the children of incarcerated mothers. In addition we strive to support caregivers and their families, provide resources to improve parenting skills and develop positive relationships with their children. The key word to us is bonding. The program is called Through A Child's Eyes (TACE).
In Oregon over 15,000 children have a parent in prison. Studies show the children of incarcerated parents often have poor social and academic skills and are at a much higher risk than their peers for juvenile delinquency, depression, drug abuse, and eventual incarceration. Studies also indicate that improving the relationship between children and their incarcerated parents is vital to helping disrupt the intergenerational cycle of criminality.
Since CCCF opened TACE has sponsored a visit from Santa Claus, complete with presents & pictures, for inmate mothers and their children. In July, 2003 TACE planned and provided a large outdoor Summer Event"inside the walls" of CCCF. This was the first time in Oregon an event of this type was staged inside prison fences. The event featured a barbeque and provided many booths with interactive crafts and games for the inmate mothers and their children to participate in together. These opportunities for mother and child are not usually available in a prison setting. Rotary's "Through A Child's Eyes" program has continued each summer. Here are a few comments from key participants in our summer TACE event:
Inmate: "My children will never forget their mom had to go to prison because of poor choices, but they will remember the time we ate hamburgers and cotton candy, played games, did crafts, and had lots of hugs and kisses."
Wilsonville Rotarian: "The laughter has been the best part."
Inmate: "It was the closest I've come to feeling human and being able to set aside the guilt I feel on a daily basis."
Inmate: "Eating a meal together was a bonding experience; I haven't been able to do that with my son for over 5 years."
Wilsonville Rotarian: "It was a life altering experience."
Inmate: The attitudes of Rotary members were outstanding-we were made to feel like we could get along with folks in society."
July 2011 marked the 9th year that TACE has held a Summer Event inside prison walls. Those whose attend often remark that "for a few hours no one notices the concertina wire." Instead we have hugs and kisses, and family time.
Please join with us in supporting this most important cause.
Through A Child's Eyes (TACE) Information
To contribute, please contact:
John Ludlow , TACE Chairman and Co-founder: 503-682-3419
Doris Wehler, TACE Secretary: 503-682-0426
For additional information on "Through a Child's Eyes" please contact John Ludlow at email@example.com or Doris Wehler at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 362
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Through A Child's Eyes is a program of the Wilsonville Rotary Foundation,
a 501(c)(3) organization.