Strengthening Rural Families

Welcome to Strengthening Rural Families
…working together to build stronger families and communities in rural Benton  County.

Our programs serve the communities of rural Benton County including Alsea,  Blodgett, Kings Valley, Monroe, and Philomath.

We use a collaborative approach to promote the health and well-being of individuals and families in rural communities through education, advocacy, coalition building and community connections. We collaborate, administer resources, support and provide programming through our two initiatives – Rural Parenting and Rural Health.

SRF has locally based community coordinators in each of the primary areas we serve. Together, we bring programs and services to the places that families can best access them: their home towns!


Our Staff

Executive Director—Paul Smith,
Community Coordinators:
Alsea—Mirium Ulm,
Monroe—Janeece Cook,
Philomath—Laura Lundeen,
Rural Outreach—Nodabi Morales-Santos,
Alsea Preschool Lead Teacher— Mirium Ulm,, Alsea Pups Preschool phone (541) 487-4305
Philomath Next Steps Teacher—Sunny Bennett,
Office Manager/Bookkeeper—Lauri Lehman,

Visit us at 535 S. 19th St., # 147, Philomath, OR 97370
Mail to: P.O. Box 1528, Philomath, OR 97370

Call us at (541) 929-2535.


Strengthening Rural Families Board of Directors

Mark Thielman, SRF Board Chair, Superintendent, Alsea School, (541) 487-4305

Luis Maciel, Board Secretary, Juvenile Services Supervisor, Benton County Juvenile Department, (541) 766-6060

Bre Miller, Board Treasurer, General Manager, Corvallis Knights, (541) 752-5656

Janelle Iverson, Marketing & PR Account Manager, Samaritan Health Services, (541) 768-5444

Susie Lisser, Owner, S. Lisser Consulting,

Judy Price, Retired Special Educator, (541) 752-9040

Tammy Skubinna, Professor Emeritus, OSU Extension Faculty, (541) 752-4214


SRF Advisory Team:

Carolyn Ashton, OSU Extension Services
Julia Engle, Philomath Community Library
Derik Hering, Benton County Juvenile Department
Van Hunsaker, Philomath Community Services
Kelly Locey, Benton County Health Department
PK McCoy, Parent Educator
Aoife Magee, Linn Benton Community College
Molly Perino, Benton County Health Department
Kendra Sue Phillips-Neal, Jackson Street Youth Services
Peggy Ring, LBL-ESD
Sarah Rustan-Woosley, Philomath Youth Activities Club
Kim Van Horn, Old Mill Center for Children & Families

Strengthening Rural Families Programming

Community Coordinators

Alsea: Mirium Ulm at, (541) 487-4305

Monroe: Janeece Cook at, (541) 829-1349

Philomath: Laura Lundeen at, (541) 929-2535

Bilingual Rural Outreach: Nodabi Morales-Santos at, (541) 929-2535

Alsea Classes—Mirium at to register

Squishtivities – Held once a month for parents and/or caregivers and children of any age, (adults must attend with their youth.) Create, play, and learn with sensory play, exploration & crafts. Held monthly, on the third Wednesday of the month, June 19, July 17 and August 21 at the Alsea Community Library, 11:00am- 12:00pm. Cost: FREE. Snack included.  

NOW ENROLLING FOR ALSEA PUPS PRESCHOOL. Alsea Pups Preschool is for children ages 3 to 5 years old. Held at the Alsea School 4 days a week, Monday/Wednesday from 8:00am-11:30am and Tuesday/Thursday from 8:00am-3:20pm, August 2019-June 2020. For children between the ages of 3 and 5. Tuition is on a sliding scale. Please call Ms. Mirium (541) 231-3602 to get a registration packet or for more information.

Monroe Classes—call Janeece Cook at (541) 829-1349 to register

South Benton Community Health, Safety and Fun Fair!  – Demos! Prizes! Activities for Children! Health Services! Community Resources! Wednesday, May 29 from 4:00pm-6:00pm at the Monroe High School, 365 N. 5th Street.  

Squishtivities – Held once a month for parents and/or caregivers and children of any age, (adults must attend with their youth.) Create, play, and learn with sensory play, exploration & crafts. Held monthly, Thursday, June 17 at the Monroe Community Library, 11:00am-12:00pm (after Story Time). Cost: FREE. Snack included. Held in partnership with the Monroe Community Library.

Philomath Classes– Laura Lundeen at (541) 929-2535 to register

Live & Learn with Your Toddler – This 10 week class is for parents and their toddlers and provides information, activities, songs and games focused on supporting the children’s development. Tuesdays, April 2 – June 4, 9:10am-11:00am. $30 for Philomath School District residents/$74 for out of district. Clemens Primary School, Rm #146, Philomath, OR 97370. Please contact Laura to register: (541) 929-2535 or by email Taught by Sophie Grow and held in partnership with LBCC – Parenting Education.

Live & Learn with Your Baby– Your baby is learning! This 10 week class is for parents and their babies. Come join with other families as you prepare for a lifetime of learning. Learn how to support your child’s emotional, physical and intellectual development through songs, activities and group discussions – all while building a community of support and lifelong friends for you and your child. Wednesdays, April 3 – June 5, 9:30am-11:20am, held at Clemens Primary School, SRF Common Area, Philomath, OR 97370. Cost $25, with scholarships available.  Please call Family Connections / Pollywog at 541-917-4884 for more information and to register. Provided by LBCC – Parenting Education and taught by Sarah Angel.


Squishtivities – Held once a month for parents and/or caregivers and children of any age, (adults must attend with their youth.) Create, play, and learn with sensory play, exploration & crafts. Held monthly, on the second Wednesday of the month,  March 13, April 10, May 8 and June 12. 10:30am—11:30am (following Story Time). Cost: FREE. Snack included. Held in collaboration with the Philomath Community Library.

Mindful Movement: For school-age youth. The tools and skills that the Yoga Calm curriculum nurture provide the resilience and “grit” that more and more educators agree is key to children’s success, both in school and after graduation. But it’s more than just grit. Or attitude. Or a growth mindset. Or leadership skills. It’s emotional intelligence. It’s resources for thriving.

The sessions engage heart, mind and body with a combination of physical skills, social skills games, and mindfulness activities. It helps kids develop emotional intelligence, communication skills, trust, and empathy and provides for a calmer home and more productive school environment. Held throughout the Philomath School District. And TBD @ Monroe Grade School

Adult Dental Van:  For adults 19 years of age or older and without insurance. If you have dental pain or a toothache, but don’t have insurance. Will provide fillings or extractions for those in pain. (This does not include wisdom teeth.) In collaboration with Medical Teams International and Samaritan Health Services. Mobile vans scheduled throughout the county, call SRF office @ (541) 929-2535 for more information.

General Info @ SRF


We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and gladly accept donations, whether $10 or $1000!

You can support Strengthening Rural Families three ways:

1. Donate to SRF directly. We will gratefully accept your check by mail at: P.O. Box 1528, Philomath, OR 97370, or in person at our office at 535 S. 19th Street in Philomath. Read our annual letter.

2. You can donate by clicking here:   

2. You can shop on and donate a portion of your purchase to us.
Thank you for your support.

Like us on Facebook!

General Info

In collaboration with others, Strengthening Rural Families’ provides services and programming for individuals and families in rural Benton County. Some of the programming includes:

Our Rural Parenting Initiative, which provides classes and workshops for parents and caregivers:

In rural Benton County – SRF Schedule – Click Here

In Linn & Benton Counties – Parenting Success Network

Our Rural Health Initiative, which provides healthy living classes, workshops and activities.

Funders and Collaborators

Funders and Collaborators 

Alsea School District
301 3rd Street
Alsea, OR 97324

Benton Community Foundation – Lagestee Regional Initiative
P.O. Box 911
Corvallis, OR 97339

Benton County Health Services
P.O. Box 579
Corvallis, OR 97339-0579

Benton County Oral Health Coalition
Samaritan Health Services
815 NW 9th Street, Avery Square Suite 254
Corvallis, OR 97330

City of Philomath
P.O. Box 400
Philomath, OR 97370

Collins Foundation
1618 SW First Avenue, Suite 505
Portland, OR 97201

Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

All branches:
Alsea Community Library
19192 Alsea Hwy
Alsea, OR 97324

Monroe Community Library
380 N. 5th Street
Monroe, OR 97456

Philomath Community Library
1050 Applegate Street
Philomath, OR 97370

Early Learning Hub of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties
Linn Benton Community College
6500 Pacific Blvd SW, LM-101
Albany, OR 97321

Ford Family Foundation
1600 NW Stewart Parkway
Roseburg, OR 97471-1957

Health Equity Alliance
WNHS – 257 SW Madison, #113
Corvallis, OR 97333
Linn Benton Health Equity Alliance

Kings Valley Charter School
33840 Kings Valley Highway
Philomath, OR 97370
Kings Valley Charter School

Monroe School District
365 N. 5th Street
Monroe, OR 97456
Monroe School District

Old Mill Center for Children & Families
1650 SW 45th Place
Corvallis, OR 97333

Oregon Community Foundation
The Fred W. Fields Fund
1221 SW Yamhill Street, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97201

Philomath School District
535 S. 19th Street
Philomath, OR 97370

Philomath Youth Activities Club
421 S. 19th Street
Philomath, OR 97370

Simple Actions Family Foundation
“Simple Actions Family Foundation supports the vision and actions
of those who improve lives and communities worldwide.”

Templeton Foundation

United Way of Benton & Lincoln Counties
P.O. Box 2499
Corvallis, OR 97330

Zonta Club of Corvallis
P.O. Box 792
Corvallis, OR 97339