“Playing together allows parents and children to connect with each other.”


–  Vanessa Pingleton, Regional Early learning Program Facilitator for Douglas ESD

A child and parent play together inside Douglas ESD’s Parenting Resource Center.  

Get to Know Douglas ESD

Power of Play

This summer learning continues inside Douglas ESD’s Parenting Resource Center in Roseburg. The center welcomes families. During Douglas ESD’s operating hours, parents, caregivers and guardians can stop by to learn about resources, read books with children, play games or attend activity-related events. Recently the center started hosting play events.

“We want to encourage families to play,” said Vanessa Pingleton, regional early learning program facilitator for Douglas ESD. “Playing together allows parents and children to connect with each other.”

Play is more important than one might realize. Play helps children develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Research from the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that appropriate play optimizes children’s development, helps manage stress, promotes cognitive and language skills and supports nurturing relationships.

The play events are funded thanks to a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) grant from Umpqua Health Alliance. Scheduled events began this past spring and will continue into the fall. A variety of free activities are designed for toddlers through age 5 and ages 6 to 12. No registration is required. Families are encouraged to drop in during a planned playtime. The events begin with a light snack, followed by a fun activity.

Douglas ESD is partnering with community partners to help lead events. At a recent event, UCAN Early Head Start led painting and sunflower planting activities. To continue learning at home, each child took home gardening gloves, a trowel and seeds.

“The PRC room is a great place for families to gather and see community resources and to make connections with other families,” said Penny Slay, a home visitor with UCAN Early Head Start. “It is a very inviting place for families to relax and to explore with lots of age-appropriate toys and activities.”

In May the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub brought hands-on, minds-on activities to a play event that included Legos, Bristle Blocks and Marble Runs.

A child builds a Marble Run at a recent Douglas ESD play event.

Future play-related events will include bubble making, reading, art, and teaching children to engage with their environment and more.  

“We’re grateful for the CHIP grant, which impacts families in positive ways,” said Pingleton. “We appreciate working alongside community partners to help support families.”

These play events allow parents to connect with their children as well as each other. Families can learn about resources and services available to them. Parents also have opportunities to connect with early childhood professionals.


Early learning professionals at Douglas ESD stand outside the agency’s Early Learning and Parenting Resource Center in Roseburg. From left, Robin Van Winkle, Vanessa Pingleton, Susan Stiles and Cynthia Hurkes. Courtesy of Douglas ESD.

“We want to remind families that even if you can’t make it to a play event, you can still stop by for a visit. Recently a family brought a grandparent here to play games,” said Pingleton. “The area is set up like a living room with comfortable seating for adults and little tables and chairs for children.”

The Parenting Resource Center is at 1871 NE Stephens St. in Roseburg. All-day bus passes are available for families to attend the play events. Contact Vanessa Pingleton for more details at 541-529-5650 or Vanessa.Pingleton@douglasesd.k12.or.us.

The Parenting Resource Center is part of the Early Learning and Parenting Resource Center (ELPRC) building. Services support children from birth to age 21. Services such as early learning, skills development, assessments, audiology, as well as preschool and childcare coordination are provided.  During the summer the ELPRC building is closed on Fridays through September 1.

Many moving parts help children learn and thrive. Douglas Education Service District is one of the moving pieces. The goal is to increase opportunities for all children to continue building a vibrant future. There are nearly 50 programs and services at Douglas ESD that champion children. This article is part of a series that will feature programs and people who help students succeed.

Douglas ESD’s Play Event Schedule

Parenting Resource Center

1871 NE Stephens St., Roseburg

July 12 – 2:30 to 4 p.m.

July 27 – 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Aug. 9 – 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Aug. 24 – 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Sept. 13 2:30 pm to 4 p.m.

Sept. 29 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Oct 11 – 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Oct 27 – 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Nov. 8 – (Time to be determined)