Although Seashore Family Literacy Center’s Director Senitila McKinley was hoping the school district would let her acquire the whole campus of the old Waldport Middle School, she seems content to work with what’s left – after the school’s classrooms were demolished Tuesday.
Senitila told News Lincoln County that “Something very good is going to come of all this, I have a really good feeling about it.”
And of course the Waldport area community has a really good feeling about Senitila. Her reputation in the community is legion – by providing after school learning programs for Waldport area children – especially those from low income families. In addition to educational tutoring at her Seashore Family Literacy Center they offer life mentoring, art instruction, free meals, sports and a whole array of other resources to help round out a child’s day and their understanding of the world.
And of course, anyone who has spent more than five minutes with Senitila well knows, anything she gets a good feeling about she pursues in a very big way. A native of Tonga in the South Pacific, she was raised in a very different economic and cultural environment than the “American Urbanism” of the U.S. She’s far more, what you might call, “organic” when it comes to seeing what she sees, knowing what she knows and deciding what should happen next.
Senitila is very much interested in organic gardening which you could say is a symbolic expression of her interest in children. They too are organic to her and she spends a good amount of time with kids in the Center’s garden. You notice in the pictures that the little greenhouse and the garden area was largely preserved from the excavator’s bucket-jaws.
Though the classrooms are gone, the central theme for a wholesome future for Seashore Family Literacy Center remains intact on the old school site. The greenhouse, the garden and the still-standing sign says it all.