Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center

Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center

Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

We know that caring for the youngest members of our community is of the utmost importance, and you’ll see that exemplified in our first recipient tonight, Bellingham Childcare & Learning Center.

Neuroscience and Adverse Childhood Experiences research shows the importance of the first five years of a child’s life in regards to the development of their overall wellbeing. For many families, a critical piece of the puzzle in supporting their young ones is childcare. Access to affordable and quality childcare can be a significant barrier.

Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center is a NAEYC accredited facility that fosters educational growth through loving and nurturing interactions with children. Teachers strive to deeply connect with parents or guardians as they are the child’s first teacher. They provide a tuition assistance program for families that do not qualify for childcare subsidy through other entities. Throughout the pandemic, they have been able to keep small classrooms open with a safe environment, as well as remain staffed with both new and seasoned teachers.

In addition to small classroom ratios and their communication style, what makes The Center distinct, is their flexible and accessible parent education and family engagement program. It provides several ways for parents to connect, support each other and learn together. It offers opportunities for parents to build supportive relationships with one another and to develop skills to better advocate for themselves and their children.

We are proud to honor Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Bellingham Childcare and Learning Center is recognized, click here.

Meghan Lever

Meghan Lever

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

Meghan, served as Prevention Intervention Specialist at Sehome High School for 4 years. She provided support to teens impacted by substance use and advised a prevention club that elevated student voices and vulnerability around wellbeing issues faced by teens.

With her guidance a club model called peer centered support (PCS) and peer centered outreach (PCO) developed, which in 2021 has been adopted across all Bellingham high schools. The club, “allows students to be as profound and creative as possible” and influence community in school by opening up dialog and demonstrating healthy vulnerability on tough issues like sexual consent, body image, substance use, and suicidal thinking.

Meghan’s role helped students bring their ideas to fruition and navigate systems. With her guidance, students hosted an event where parents could talk to teens thoughtfully on serious issues; students reviewed district health curriculum and created video content to strengthen areas that did not address real concerns of their peers; they convinced admin to change a day’s schedule to ensure all students could attend assemblies on the issue of consent and leveraged the PTA to fund a national speaker for the day. And all teaching staff and student leaders were prepared to offer debrief discussions.

Community Builders are trusted adults who have a way of making our community safer for youth. Thank you, Meghan.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Meghan is recognized, click here.

Job Opening: Mt. Baker Community Coalition Co-Coordinator

Administer and co-coordinate community-based prevention programming, including planning, development, implementation and evaluation of programs; facilitate development and coordination of substance abuse prevention activities; develop and present prevention-related educational programs for community members and groups; be knowledgeable about substance abuse prevention research and increase public awareness; co-facilitate the development, training and implementation of the Mt. Baker Community Coalition (MBCC), a youth substance abuse prevention coalition, and collaborate with other local coalitions, task forces and community groups as a resource or provider of technical assistance.

Permanent, Non-Exempt, Grant Funded Position. 1 FTE (40 hours per week offered)
START DATE: January 3, 2022
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
PRIORITY DEADLINE: November 8, 2021, but open until filled
TO APPLY: Send or email cover letter, resume and three professional references (please ensure your name, phone number and email contacts are included) to


  • Co-Coordinate the MBCC, comprised of community sector representatives from the following sectors: Youth, Parent, Law Enforcement, Civic/Volunteer Groups, Business, Healthcare Professionals, Media, Schools, Youth-serving Organizations, Religious/Fraternal Organizations, State/Local/Tribal Governments, Other Substance Abuse Organization (e.g., Treatment), Youth Treatment Professionals, and Mental Health Professionals; to encourage and facilitate their collaboration in efforts to prevent or reduce substance abuse; Use volunteer management and community organizing principles;
  • Coordinate and provide comprehensive training to coalition members to build capacity for community-based, data-driven substance abuse coalition work; Public speaking and training skills, and group and meeting facilitation skills.
  • Provide technical assistance and support to agency staff, volunteers, prevention contractors, service providers and community groups on topics such as CSAP strategies, CPWI and prevention science (e.g., risk and protective factors, the Strategic Prevention Framework, relevant evidence-based strategies);
  • Oversee community coalition’s development of five-year prevention strategic plan within Center for Disease Control (CDC) Drug Free Community (DFC) grant guidelines and “Washington State Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery” (DSHS/DBHR) Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) and assist in providing annual budget and project plan updates;
    • Conduct needs assessment and other techniques to identify community service needs with community coalition members;
    • Assist individuals and groups in developing risk and protective factor focused prevention plans, selecting research-supported prevention strategies, and developing appropriate evaluations;
    • Sustainability planning, which includes seeking additional funding and development support.
  • Prepare, analyze and modify grant and program budgets;
  • Assist in managing additional grants and funding received to grow and sustain coalition goals.
  • Coordinate Youth Engagement: Plan, coordinate and implement training, activities and events for youth, families and prevention professionals that increases youth leadership skills, prevention science knowledge and advances prevention strategies and outcomes.
  • Work cooperatively with staff, community members and other groups to develop and implement on-going evidence-based strategies which discourage use/misuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs;
  • Develop data collection instruments and monitoring and program evaluation policies and procedures to ensure program compliance with federal, state, and local guidelines;
  • Responsible for prevention contract monitoring, reporting and program outcomes;
  • Conduct site-visits with subcontractor(s) to monitor program components for contract provisions and compliance;
  • Conduct participant surveys to evaluate community needs, contract compliance and strategy effectiveness;
  • Prepare summaries of prevention monitoring reports for the coalition and others as needed;
  • Enter reporting data into required data systems within contractual timeframes;
  • Interpret complex and detailed federal and state regulations to ensure program and planning compliances;
  • Attend required funder (i.e. DBHR/DFC) and partnership (i.e. WCHD; BHC) meetings and training;
  • Engage with local media. Preparing press kits, soliciting media coverage and responding to media requests;
  • Plan, develop, implement and monitor media campaigns, positive social marketing initiatives in collaboration with DFC and CADCA National media initiatives;
  • Collaborate with key community stakeholders in the support and implementation of grant action plans.
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity;
  • Work independently and collaboratively to develop effectiveness in teams and work groups;
  • Participate in development and maintenance of organizational system;
  • Perform professional computing skills at a proficient level, MS Office; Email; Online research; database entry; office machines; phones; Virtual meeting environments; Google drives, etc.

Due to COVID, work is performed in school-based settings and virtually from remote home or office spaces. We are currently limiting face to face meetings, trainings, events and gatherings. These aspects may change across time as the pandemic progresses or ends. The CPWI grant, requires that the primary office in which employee maintains work space must be located within community served by coalition. This means within the boundaries of the Mt. Baker School District service area. During non-COVID times, work is typically performed primarily in school, office and community environments. Community travel is required to provide face to face communication with coalition members and to attend other community meetings and events, provide training and technical assistance and participate in coalition strategies and activities. Statewide and out of state travel is required occasionally. Attendance at meetings and prevention activities may frequently require working evening, weekend and irregular hours. Access to guaranteed, reliable transportation is required. Occasional physical effort may be required to lift items weighing up to 50 pounds. WFCN promotes individual and community wellbeing practice and a trauma informed culture of compassion, for self and others. We encourage staff to model self-compassion and teach others as you develop.


  • Knowledge of and familiarity with the community served by the coalition, specifically Eastern Whatcom County;
  • Demonstrated ability to organize community groups and to work cooperatively with a diversity of people, agencies, public groups and contract agency personnel;
  • Knowledge of basic principles of substance abuse prevention and treatment and public health principles, including health and mental health promotion. Understand the continuum of care in substance abuse and addiction;
  • Understand existing alcohol and other drug abuse prevention systems and programs in state and county governments;
  • Knowledge of principles of equity and cultural humility, consequences of health disparities, and strategies to increase inclusivity in community outreach;
  • Knowledge of principles of effective leadership with demonstrated leadership skills;
  • Understand the value of and strategies of inclusivity for members of the community in coalition-building and community outreach;
  • Ability to facilitate meetings that encourage participatory leadership and positive development of solutions and community capacity;
  • Excellent research, analysis, writing, and communication skills involved in community development, planning and policy development, grant and report-writing, statistical data gathering and public speaking;
  • Successful experience developing and providing adult training programs;
  • Proven ability to work independently and prioritize several on-going assignments within contractual requirements including deadlines;
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule and travel within the area served by the coalition with occasional state-wide and out of state travel.

Extroverted personality; Relationship oriented; Passionate about youth wellbeing and substance free development; Learns new concepts quickly and is self-motivated; Attentive to detail; Able to lead and follow as a team member; Willing to delegate to and coach youth and adults in a collaborative way; Manage multiple time sensitive issues; Adapt to changing circumstances; Generate a shared vision for the community; Generate and maintain enthusiasm for developing solutions: Instill hope for continued improvement of health outcomes; Share WFCN’s values and adopt our core principles of trauma informed and community capacity building work.


  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and an acceptable driver’s abstract is required prior to employment.
  • Current Certified Prevention Professional credential or ability to obtain within 18 months of appointment upon approval of related training plan.
  • Ability to pass Washington State Patrol Background check and any further established background requirements.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services, Public Health, Behavioral Sciences or closely related field; or the equivalent combination of relevant education, training and experience. Two years of relevant experience that adequately illustrates the attainment of knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements of the job listed. Familiarity with Washington State and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) substance abuse prevention planning frameworks and programs preferred.

This position is grant funded by multiple sources, including Drug Free Communities Grant managed by Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Community Prevention Wellness Initiative of Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR). The grants are administered through the employer for this position, Whatcom Family & Community Network (WFCN), A 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization. See the WFCN website at

Starting Range DOE: $22 to $25 per hour. Pro-rated medical health benefits with dental; holidays; paid time off (PTO is vacation and health leave). Full time employees benefits are paid in full. Spouse/Domestic Partner/Dependents may be covered, but at full cost to employee.

Whatcom Family & Community Network is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

To Apply:
Send cover letter and resume to

Mt. Baker Youth Substance Use Prevention Youth Fellows

Up to 6 fellowships available

Brief Description:  Assist the Mt. Baker Community Coalition (MBCC) to complete grant-based projects such as Alcohol Community Assessment of Neighborhood Stores (CANS) and Cannabis Sticker Shock Campaign, engage in community outreach and attend/present to coalition meetings as youth/young adult representatives.

FTE/Status: Seeking applicants ages 16-24 for up 6 paid part-time youth leadership and workforce development fellowships. Typically, 6-10 hours a week, depending on the context of placement. Position begins May 20th and ends September 25th, 2021.

To Apply:  Request an application packet. Email Emma Giri at All completed application packets are due by May 7th at 3pm.

Essential Functions:

Attend prevention skills education trainings.
Attend, design, and implement sessions for development of CANS and Sticker Shock Campaign.
Assess local neighborhood stores, communicate with managers and staff, collect and analyze data for Community Assessment of Neighborhood Stores (CANS) effort.
Attend MBCC meetings and present data and findings from CANS and outcomes from Sticker Shock Campaign.
Be an ambassador for the MBCC; help the community increase awareness about the coalition’s purpose/efforts within your circles of influence, following best practices in prevention (family, school, peers, etc.)
Generate ideas for future youth engagement in the MBCC.
Assist in designing retailer education packets and recognition material.
Manage internship requirements as outlined by MBCC.

Preferred Skills or Characteristics

Ability to demonstrate contextual experience in the Mount Baker Community including residence, association, or historical experiences.
Organizational skills and ability to navigate community relationships.
Strong verbal communication skills, public speaking, community outreach
Positive attitude
Interest in change for positive community health and social justice


Professional development, professional recommendations
Community networking and awareness
Meaningful work and recognition for a job well done
Personal satisfaction from making a positive change in your community
Resume writing assistance


Upon project completion, in September, each Baker Youth Prevention Fellow will receive $500 for completing the project and essential functions.


Hope Centered and Trauma Informed – Learn how you can build hope for yourself and others!

DATE: May 25, 2021
TIME: 12:00PM—4:00PM
LOCATION: Virtual Event

Hope is real, hope is measurable, and hope is malleable. Youth who demonstrate higher hope:

  • Do better in school
  • Report less substance use
  • Experience less anxiety and depression

Learn how motivation and pathways are keys to achieving goals and experiencing a better life.

Featuring: Dr. Chan Hellman
Chan Hellman, Ph.D., is a professor, quantitative psychologist, and the Director of The Hope Research Center at the University of Oklahoma. He has studied hope and resilience for more than 15 years.

The sponsors have made this event FREE for you.
Register at

Continuing Education Units and Clock Hours are available (pending approval). For questions, please contact

Job Openings: Diversity & Inclusion VISTA Summer Associate Positions

Applications are only received via the AmeriCorps website. To apply, click here:

Whatcom Family & Community Network (WFCN) builds community capacity so children, youth and families thrive. We envision a thriving community built on equity, social connection, participation and opportunities. This program emphasizes outreach to invite and engage BIPOC, LGBTQ and Rural communities to participate in opportunities that will increase equity through diverse voice and contributions to community processes aimed to strengthen community health broadly and specifically to prevent substance use for youth, and increase mental wellbeing for children and adolescents. Promote volunteer, stipend and paid opportunities to increase inclusion in decision-making important to the diverse needs of our community.

Member Duties: Collect and Create Outreach Materials from Coalition and Community Partners on Opportunities seeking to increase diverse voice in decision-making processes. Plan, coordinate and implement a system to engage with BIPOC, LGBTQ and Rural communities, that includes community pop-up stations using safe social distancing protocols. Outreach to and engage with interested community members. Ask them to consider participation and sharing of information with those they know. Follow up with contacts and provide pathways to future participation. Document contacts with interested community members. Evaluate effectiveness of outreach strategies. Report and make recommendations to program for next steps.

Program Benefits : Stipend , Training , Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend .

*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA healthcare benefits, please visit

Terms: Permits attendance at school during off hours , Permits working at another job during off hours , Car recommended .

Service Areas: Community and Economic Development , Community Outreach , Education , Neighborhood Revitalization , Tribal , Public Safety , Hunger , Children/Youth , Health .

Skills: Team Work , Public Health , Community Organization , Computers/Technology , Public Speaking , Social Services , Communications , Writing/Editing.

To apply, visit:

Summer VISTAs get the following benefits: 

  • Living Allowance Stipend of about $1,025/mo. 
  • Eligibility for Basic Food Benefits 
  • Loan Forbearance or Deferment 
  • End of Year Service Award of about $275 OR Education Award of about $1300 
  • Valuable work experience 
  • Priority consideration for local yearlong VISTA positions starting the end of August 

Job Opening: Community Engagement Coordinator

Title:  Community Engagement Coordinator
FTE/Status: Part Time, between 20 to 26 hours weekly.  Grant funded position. 
Hours:  Mostly between Mon. to Fri.  8 to 5 p.m.  Some weekends and evenings.
Begin Date Target:  February 16th, 2021
Position Open Until Filled. Priority Deadline:  January 24th, 2021

To Apply:  Send or email cover letter, resume and three professional references (include position title in email subject line and ensure your name, phone number and email contacts are in both the cover letter and resume) to

Description:  Provides direct and indirect supports to prevention professionals, youth and families to increase coalition engagement, including public relations & outreach, program coordination and volunteer management.  Focuses on increasing youth and family leadership, prevention science knowledge and participation in coalition strategy.  Volunteer management and supervision of coalition members/club youth. Project activity, event and professional development coordination. Reports to Executive Director. Collaborates with Mt. Baker Comm. Coalition Coordinator.

  • Essential Functions
    • Program Coordination: Plan and implement strategies to engage youth, families and community partners in the work of increasing protective factors and decreasing risk factors that impact youth substance use and promote mental wellbeing.  Follow DFC and DBHR work plans.
    • Youth Engagement Coordination: Plan, coordinate and implement training, activities and events for youth, families and prevention professionals that increases leadership skills, prevention science knowledge and advances prevention strategies and outcomes.
    • Professional Communication: Create quality print and electronic content & materials using a variety of technology.  Communicate clearly in written, verbal and visual formats for diverse audiences: youth, families and community at large. Provide frequent face-to-face, e-mail and phone contact with sector representatives and coalition members, including county-wide school systems, parents, youth and young adults.  Bilingual skills a plus!
    • Volunteer Coordination: Recruit, recognize, retain and management risks associated with member engagement. Collaborate with volunteers, coalition members and interns.
    • Advanced computing skills:  Word, Excel, PowerPoint; Desktop publishing software (i.e. Canva/Publisher). Create forms, flyers, spreadsheets; Website research; Be social media savvy. Able to learn new technology.
    • Community Capacity Development: Work collaboratively with staff and community partners, adhering to systems and procedures. Cultivate strategic partnerships to strengthen community and build program sustainability.
    • Demonstrate cultural humility and sensitivity. Work with diverse populations. Value and act to increase equity & social justice.
    • Values Aligned with WFCN Team: Practice Self-Care and Wellbeing. Be Honest and Transparent, Hopeful, Persistent & Collaborative; Show Positive psychology in word and deed. Have genuine interest in helping prevention of youth substance use and suicide; Be open-minded, grow-oriented, detail-oriented, and organized.  Show ability to understand larger systems thinking; Be a clear and respectful communicator
  • Other Duties:
    • Administrative tasks—e-mailing, phone work, filing, copying, data entry and reporting as relevant to WFCN need and project assignment.
    • Attend Mt Baker Community Coalition Meetings and other community events and meetings as relevant according to availability.
    • Attend relevant trainings and be willing to travel. 
    • Seek funding opportunities through networking and research.
  • Qualifications:
    • 1 year experience with human services, public health, education or related area utilizing skills outlined.
    • Preferred:  Bachelor’s Degree in related field or equivalent professional experience
  • Benefits:
    • Flexible scheduling aligned with needs of the project.
    • Employer share of employment taxes; L&I.
    • Mileage reimbursement for approved travel for business purposes.
    • Prorated medical or dental benefits for employees working 20 hours or more per week.
    • Professional development, resume building, professional recommendations.
    • Work in a positive and trauma informed organization with hard working professionals.
  • Compensation:
    • Starting Range:  $18.50 to $19.40 hourly, depending on experience and funding.  

Whatcom Family & Community Network is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Watch 2020 Ken Gass Community Building Awards

Congratulations to our 2020 Community Builder Award Honorees!

Missed our online event premiere? No problem!

Watch here or at WFCN’s YouTube channel to celebrate all of our award winners

For 30 years, WFCN has catalyzed community connection and collective action to solve challenging problems faced by children, youth and families. Your contributions support us to develop community capacity in innovative and inclusive ways. Our aim is to build hope and resilience so that children, youth, families and communities thrive. Your donation helps to increase the services, training and support we offer to benefit everyone in Whatcom County.

Click to donate now.

Whatcom Family & Community Network’s purpose is to promote the well-being of children, youth and families by convening and supporting communities to build their capacity. WFCN is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization and the home of Whatcom Prevention Coalition, Mt. Baker Community Coalition, ACEs/Resilience Network, Gang Prevention Team, and MAD HOPE Youth Suicide Prevention.