Garden Home After-School Care Association

Linda and Larry Monk, 2013. Larry was pastor at Garden Home Methodist Church in the 1970s.

Linda and Larry Monk, 2013. Larry was pastor at Garden Home Methodist Church in the 1970s.

It all began because Jan Pinniger got tired of baby sitting the neighborhood kids.

In 1972, Larry Monk was appointed pastor of the Garden Home United Methodist church.

Larry and Linda had a total of seven children between them. Four of the kids were living with Larry and Linda in Garden Home. And since Larry worked full-time and Linda part time, child care after school was a problem. And Jan was the solution, for not only Larry and Linda but many other parents in the Garden Home United Methodist Church community.

Then Jan decided to quit.

So Larry worked with the parents in the congregation and school to develop a solution to everyone’s child care problem. The outline of the solution was easy: form a cooperative association of parents who would hire child care personnel, set policy, secure space, and do all else necessary to provide quality child care for their children.

Carrying out this plan was very much more ambitious. The new-born Garden Home After-School Care Association had to write and adopt bylaws, elect officers, set up accounts and register at the bank, the Post Office, the state, Social Security, the IRS, the school district, and several other official bodies. They had to negotiate with the Garden Home Elementary School for space, advertise for members and enroll families, hire teachers and aides and negotiate salaries, and navigate a sea of other challenges.

And it worked.

The GHASCA had an enrollment of some 20 children, the Board had a membership of half a dozen families (many single mothers), and a staff of 2-5. Larry became the chief administrator, and the budget grew until it was larger than the Garden Home United Methodist church’s budget.

And other school’s parents began asking about the Garden Home program, and how to set up their own. Montclair Elementary School next door soon formed their own organization and at last report were still functioning. Several other schools in Beaverton inquired, as did at least one school in the Portland school district.

In 1979 Larry was transferred to pastor another church, and the ASCA had to select other leadership. The history of the GHASCA after that date will be up to someone else to write.

By Larry Monk, August 23, 2013

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