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DEEL Announces Funding Awards for Culturally Responsive Summer Programs

Today the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced that over $450k will be awarded to Community Based Organizations (CBOs) to implement culturally responsive summer programming this summer.

Only Community Based Organizations were eligible to apply for this Summer funding and preference was given to CBOs centered in communities of color with deep cultural and language knowledge. The goal of these programs will be to utilize culturally responsive programming to prevent summer learning loss and improve academic outcomes for African-American/Black students and other students of color.

Community Passageways will implement a program this summer to serve the most at-risk young black men at South Lake High School. The goal will be to maintain or improve reading and writing levels by a half -grade level over the summer.

WA-BLOC will be funded to implement a nationally recognized “Freedom Schools” curriculum focused on civil rights and literacy for students at Rainier Beach High School and Washington Middle School, in partnership with Seattle University

Voices of Tomorrow will serve East African students with a place-based arts and literacy program at New Holly.  The program will also focus on English language acquisition, provide interpretation/translation in the students’ heritage languages, and cover topics that students, their families, and communities care deeply about.

The Urban League will partner with Seattle Central College and Garfield High School to provide math instruction, college-level courses, and seminars on African-American history and life skills. Students will receive college credit and service hours for participating in this summer program.

The YWCA’s  GirlsFirst program will serve female-identified youth of color using a racial equity lens.  Programming will focus on the interests, ideas and lived experiences of the youth they serve, and provide paid summer internships for 10th-12th grade girls.

This is the first time DEEL has offered funding for Culturally Responsive Summer Programs. Over the summer, students lose academic skills and knowledge if not engaged in high-quality and enriching experiences–a phenomenon known as summer learning loss or summer slide. The summer slide disproportionately impacts low-income students and students of color. DEEL, in partnership with Mayor’s Education Summit Advisory Group, has identified the summer slide as a major driver of the achievement and opportunity gaps. As result, students may not return to school prepared to succeed and are at greater risk of falling behind or even dropping out.

This investment was the result of recommendations from the year-long Mayor’s Education Summit, which included recommendations on ways that the City of Seattle and partners can ensure that all of Seattle’s children are given the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.