Why Participate in the St. Johns Village Project?

If you are a teen parent — or work with teen parents — you may wonder what the St. Johns Village Project has to offer.  We hope to develop strong friendships and a community of social and material support for all participating families. Specifically:

Friendships and learning together

  • We want to validate parenting successes among the teen parents.
  • We hope each playgroup will have some kind of breakfast with juice and coffee.
  • We want to learn together how to help all our kids get developmental assets — the building blocks for success — by chatting and sharing ideas with each other.


  • When a teen parent attends the playgroup four times, she will get to pick a gift out of a basket — for example, a coupon for a free family portrait, Mudeye Puppet show tickets, a coupon for a free coffee from Peet’s, or a coupon for a free haircut. After four more visits, she’ll get to choose again.
  • Occasionally as we’re able we’ll have raffles for larger prizes or prizes that must be used immediately.
  • Monthly, we’ll bring out kids’s clothes that have been donated for teen parents to bring home a bundle.

Succeeding in school

  • We are committed to helping teen parents meet the community service requirement for high school graduation.
  • We want teen parents to succeed in school, life, and parenting — and are here to help teen parents access what they need to do so.

Support for teen dads

We recognize that the playgroup may or may not meet the needs of teen dads and are committed to finding ways that do, for example, hosting monthly Dads BBQs, and creating a Dads garden plot at the St. Johns Community Garden.

Please check us out! Contact Amy, amy@stjohnsvillage.org or text SJVP to 503-893-8941.

By Amy Potthast Posted in About

Thank you!

Also, a huge thanks to the little ones for inspiring us and connecting us as moms!

The St. Johns Village Project wants to sincerely thank the following people for taking time to have conversations about starting up this project:

The Older Moms and Planning Committee (so far):
Ally Renshaw
Carly Brown
Christy Conant
Jennifer Ruwart
Kristen Meyers
Leah Nusse
Mieke Clark
Misty Gremaud
Nicole Caputo
Rebecca Maier Lowry
Shanna Schlitz
Sommer Slevin

Swapnplay Board
Dre Davey
Amber Gauntlett
Emily Oldenburg King
Shanna Schlitz
Tenneal Lujan

Heroes, allies and others willing to chat:
Celeste Janssen, Oregon Mentors
Cary Hixon, DBM
Heather Keister, Southlake Foursquare Church
Esther Harris, White Shield/LIFT
Kim Filla, Rosemary Anderson High School
Sara Kemper, Children’s Relief Nursery and Rosemary Anderson High School
Harold Acevedo, Rosemary Anderson High School
Chris Otis, Children’s Relief Nursery
Ely Sanders, Pathfinder Academy
Crystal Lebeda, Pathfinder Academy
Rhona Brant, Salvation Army
Rachel Spigal, Impact Northwest
Julie Houston, Impact Northwest
Julia Sylla, Oregon Campus Compact
Katy Allen, Early Head Start
Ariana Altieri, Portland Public Schools Teen Parents Counselor
Tiffany Tucker, Insights Teen Parents Program
Catherine Malinis, Girls Inc. of Northwest Oregon

Community support:
Aprende Con Amigos Preschool Academy
Early Headstart — Roosevelt High School
Family Forward Oregon
Moyo Jasiri
Mudeye Puppet Theater
Oregon Mentors
Pathfinder Academy
Pumpkin Ridge Gardens
Roosevelt High School
Rosemary Anderson High School
St. Johns Community Garden
White Shield and Salvation Army

By Amy Potthast Posted in About

This Fall a New Playgroup is Starting in St. Johns

It’a a place and time where teen moms can get together with older moms in the neighborhood — for moral support and fun — and where all the kids can play together.

  • Building friendships with caring adults outside of your family can be really important for a teen mom and her child’s development.
  • Connecting with other families in St. Johns helps all new moms here laugh more often, adjust to motherhood, and learn about local activities and resources that are good for us and our kids.

The St. Johns Village Project is a group mentoring project where teen moms and their children can find friendship & support from other moms who are also raising kids in the neighborhood.

By Amy Potthast Posted in About