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Parents First

Resources and Guidance for parents and children

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Our Mission

Our mission is to provide exceptional care and resources for children and Families, while fostering each child's intellectual, social, physical, and moral development in a safe and nurturing environment. 


Wooden Fish Parents First provides Resources, Guidance, and training for single parents and children in high-risk areas. Parents First offers a welcoming space where families can learn social, emotional, physical, and intellectual parenting skills, While receiving additional assistance from our grant programs. We provide safe, stable care for families who want to encourage their children’s development in a setting that honors diversity and respects the environment in collaboration with families and the greater community.




Wooden Fish Parents First is a parent coaching program that connects with families, administrators, teachers and nonprofits to recognize the power and potential of youth.

Wooden Fish Parents First exists to empower students and families in Portland. Our priority is to change the narrative of youths of color through culturally responsive relationships. Our programs provide parent training, coaching, and childcare. Beneficiaries of our program are connected to mental health, athletics, food, clothing, and housing.

Our Parent First Coordinators engage on a personal level with parents and students both in and out of school. We provide opportunities for representation, enrichment and exposure through athletics, arts, aviation, outdoors and college preparation. Relationships with our coordinators are equally important, we spend time in on-going leadership development and community with teachers throughout the year.


We believe that the joy, relationships, authenticity, and growth we center in our work with Wooden Fish families must first be embodied by us as a staff. We are accountable to each other, and we believe that what we pay attention to grows, so we pay attention to each other, ourselves, and the youths we build relationships with. We assume the best about each other, and listen to each other with humility, curiosity, and a desire to learn from each other. We amplify each other’s voices, express joy together, and acknowledge the importance of the work of liberation together. We dream big and do not diminish ourselves.


Our values reflect who we are as Coordinators & Teachers. We use our values as a framework to make decisions within our individual roles and as an organization, and to communicate what we hold most important as we work to fulfill the Wooden Fish mission.



Looks like passion, creativity, celebration, vision, hope.


Looks like presence, identity, connection, community partnerships, accountability to each other, depth, trust, and 360 degree mentorship.




Looks like identity, culturally honoring and responsive, mutuality, curiosity, voice, a with not for approach, and a deep belief that how we do the work is equally important to what we do.


Looks like exposure and opportunity, challenge, goal setting, mindset, beliefs, pathway, grit, reflection, adventure and exploration.


Wooden Fish Parents First amplifies our impact by engaging first-generation with students of color. This leadership-focused Teaching program is designed to enhance the lives of school age students. We partner with institutions and non-profits thought out Portland to get the best coordinators and teachers for our community.

Wooden Fish Parents First works one-on-one with Families and students. We receive networking opportunities or internships with local businesses that get passed on the to the families for growth.

95% of Wooden Fish Parents First come from Low income Homes and backgrounds

93% of Wooden Fish Parents are BIPOC

91% of Wooden Fish Parents First families are single mothers or in fatherless homes

Wooden Fish Parents First Partners with Wooden Fish Preschool to Provide over 10,000 Hrs of childcare a month


Today, Parent First is a comprehensive, one-stop resource for youth and families, primarily African Americans and others living in poverty or seeking culturally responsive services. Wooden Fish Parents First Program's strength is in its ability to meet the complex needs of the children and families it serves, including helping people to overcome cultural, educational and economic barriers.


The Caring Discipline approach provides researched-based, yet simple guidelines, tools, and practical examples that explain specific ways to help you feel in control of the adult/child relationship so both adult and child will feel respected, secure, and loved. Appropriate for children ages 2-18.

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What you gain from our classes

  • Practical tools and skills based on evidence-informed curriculum

  • Tools to not sabotage your discipline efforts

  • Learn how to show unconditional love

  • Identify the four types of misbehaviors and learn caring ways to correct them

  • Techniques to build children's emotional intelligence & self-esteem

  • Discuss, brainstorm, and laugh with other parents and educators struggling through similar issues -- it takes a village!

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“Sarah is just wonderful with children, plain and simple. She was a childcare provider for our son for two years. Our son had a difficult transition from a stay at home environment to preschool and Sarah really eased that transition tremendously by getting to know him and being incredibly caring and understanding with him. I think Sarah just really enjoys early childhood education and it shows in the way she interacts with the kids. She’s always very thoughtful and interested in learning the way they think and what excites them. I can’t say enough about Sarah and truly feel lucky that we had her care for our son."
"We just adore Sarah and her school! We have a 3 year old little diva. Lilly comes home happy, excited, and most of all tired!!! ;-) The facility is clean and organized and always very welcoming. Her prices are right and location is perfect for our family. We actually met Sarah at her previous establishment, and when she left, we HAD to follow. Both my kids have taken a light to "Miss Sarah" and we couldn't be happier!"
“I can’t say enough positive things about wooden fish preschool and their owners! They really care about children and their families, and it shows! I highly recommend this preschool.”



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Contact Info

Wooden Fish Parents First

18069 SE Division St 

Suite 205B

Portland OR 97236

Tel: 503-890-6681

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