Jam

JAM is a community-based organization founded by Brian Grant, the West Linn Police Department and Parks & Recreation, and Willamette Christian Church, which offers monthly dance parties for 6th – 8th graders. JAM is operated by an advisory board of local professionals. Now in its sixth year of operation, JAM has held more than 25 dances, chaperoned by more than 750 volunteers who love working with young teens, and attended by more than 7500 students.

Date: October 3
Time: 7:30 – 10pm
Cost: $10 ($8 with a JAM ID)

For entrance students must have student ID, JAM ID, or a parent verification form. The verification form, available at the dance, is not a permission slip. The adult signing the forms is simply confirming that the student is in middle school and will be picked up by a responsible adult at 10pm in the gym.

Participants must be dropped off and picked up by a parent. Parents may drop off their child outside, but are required to come inside to pick up their child. Once participants enter the dance, they are not allowed to leave without an adult.

Only 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th graders will be allowed to participate at 789JAM. Anyone known or suspected of violating the age rule will be immediately brought to a dance supervisor’s attention.

No dangerous or inappropriate items will be allowed in the dance, including:

  • Drugs or alcohol of any kind (prescription or emergency medication should be checked in with the staff when entering the dance)
  • Knives or other weapons, or anything that could be used as a weapon
  • Glass or anything that has glass – perfume or cologne bottles, drinks, etc.
  • Cameras or video recorders
  • Gum or anything excessively sticky
  • Stickers
  • Fireworks, lighters or matches
  • Outside food or beverages

Behavior

  • Physical or verbal abuse or intimidation will NOT be accepted
  • Anyone violating this should be immediately brought to a dance supervisor’s attention
  • Any fighting will result in an indefinite suspension from future dances
  • While dancing, there should be no contact in areas covered by a swimsuit
  • Making out is not acceptable behavior
  • Grinding will not be tolerated
  • Everyone must have their own seat (no sitting on anyone else’s lap)
  • No running through the gym
  • No wrestling or rough horseplay
  • All participants will be expected to be respectful to themselves, other participants and staff before, during and after the dance

Dress Code

  • There will be a dress code enforced at the dance:
  • No inappropriate body parts or undergarments visible
  • No strapless, low-cut tops or bare midriffs

Who is supervising the kids at the dances?

Blackboard Music, which has been hosting teen dances throughout the Portland Metro area for more than a decade, provides the DJ, a dance director, and security personnel for each of the dances. The dance director has the primary responsibility for oversight at the dance, supported by a team of background-checked volunteers and representatives from West Linn Police. Our volunteers consist of doctors, lawyers, sales executives, stay-at-home moms, retirees, students, and more. They’re moms and dads just like you, college students, and some older teens who want to be positive role models for younger teens. Many of our volunteers have participated in a dozen dances or more, while others are parents who volunteer once or twice while determining whether the dances are appropriate for their child.

A typical dance has around 30-35 volunteers supporting the paid Blackboard Music staff and the West Linn police officers who are in attendance. Of these volunteers, 5-10 are high schoolers, age 16 or older, who are both background-checked and have submitted a personal reference. Our high school volunteers are generally either National Honor Society members volunteering to fulfill their community service requirements or leaders in Willamette Christian Church’s middle school program.

What goes on at a JAM dance?

The dances are a safe, fun, supervised place for kids to dance or just hang out. At every dance we enforce a code of conduct and a dress code. Each and every participant that enters the dance is screened by security for inappropriate items. Kids are not allowed to leave the dances until a parent comes inside to escort them out of the event.

What type of music is played?

We play edited versions of most top 40 popular music that is on the radio and TV, as well as a liberal dose of techno and dance club mixes. And if you arrive to pick up your child as the last song is playing, you might hear strains of a song by Journey being played – accompanied by a chorus of cheers and boos from the crowd.

If you let your child watch PG-13 movies and listen to radio stations such as Z100 and WILD107.5, they are not going to hear anything at the dance they have not heard before.

Is the JAM appropriate for my child?

Only you can decide if our dances are appropriate for your child, which is why we encourage you to volunteer at a dance before you make that decision. If you are unable to volunteer, you are always welcome to come inside to see what goes on in the dances. One of the JAM team leaders or Blackboard staff would be happy to give you a guided tour of the dance. We do not allow parents to mingle with the kids unsupervised during the dance as a safety precaution. Only Blackboard Music staff, West Linn police officers, or volunteers who have completed a JAM background check are allowed to have unsupervised contact with the kids at the dance.

In the end you need to decide if this dance is right for your child, so please feel free to volunteer, come in and check out a dance, or contact us with any questions.

To verify eligibility to attend the dances, students must show a student ID, JAM ID, or a parent release form (available at the dance). JAM photo ID provide a $2 discount on admission when presented at the door, and are the best way to verify eligibility. Once you have a JAM ID, no need to bring your school ID and take a chance on losing it. Even if you forget your JAM ID, we can look it up in our records when you arrive at a dance.

Students may apply for a JAM ID at a dance by showing a school ID (or parent verification form if school ID is not available), then completing the online form and having a photo taken. Students may also apply online anytime after the dance, by completing the registration form below and uploading a photo. Completed IDs will be available for pickup at the following dance.

The ID request form is now closed. It will be available beginning with the first dance of the 2014/15 school year.

We can always use more dependable volunteers who love hanging out with middle schoolers. Just fill out this form to let us know you’re interested, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Volunteer Requirements:

  1. Must be at least 16 years old or in at least 10th grade if in high school
  2. Must have a completed background check on file before volunteering*
  3. High school students must provide a reference

*All volunteers must have a completed background check on file in order to volunteer. Please allow 2 business days for the background check process to be completed.

Volunteer