THE PARKER FAMILY
A family that spans generations in one home, the
Parkers exemplify Portland’s commitment to lifelong
learning. June Parker, the matriarch, is a widow
who considers herself to be both a teacher and a
student. She instructs community members on Portland’s
African American history at the Oregon Historical
Society and is also earning a second degree from
the University of Portland in a program designed
for returning students. June’s classmates come from
different areas of the city and the globe – with
some decades younger than she, and one even older.
June lives with her children and grandchildren
in a new development, built for larger families
and intended to bring more children into the inner
city school district. Within the development are
June’s two children, their spouses and five grandchildren.
Not only does the family enjoy being close, they
foresee a day when June will need home care and
they know she will have loved ones near by to help.
Mike Parker, June’s son, is an architect who helped
build the development where they live. He decided
to join the profession at an early age, when Portland
Public Schools and several local architecture firms
sponsored a hands-on learning program in his middle
school. Mike is happy to see that these programs
have now expanded throughout all of Portland’s public
schools to include art, music, theater, medicine,
green building and many other public-private learning
Of June’s five grandchildren, four are enrolled
in public school, one of which is a music and arts
high school with a sister-city arts exchange program.
The youngest, Candice, attends an on-site early
childhood development center. June often drops by
to read her favorite childhood chapter books to
Candice and her classmates.