DEEL Awards $1M to Community-Based Organizations for K-12 Student Learning and Enrichment Programs in Summer 2021
Funding Will Expand and Enhance Community-Based Programs to Support Student Success and Wellness in Response to COVID-19
SEATTLE (July 1) – This week, the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced $1 million in community investments to enhance summer programs for more than 1,300 K-12 students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded programs are designed to help students better prepare for academic success and social-emotional well-being this fall as students and schools return to full-time learning in the classroom. Programming will occur late June through August 2021.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on all students – especially low-income students and students in our Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities (BIPoC). This $1 million funding, part of the voter-approved Families, Education, Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy, is much needed as K-12 students prepare to return to in-person learning.” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “DEEL and their partners have worked hard to ensure that students are coming back from a year of remote learning on an even playing field. Quality education and supportive programs are critical to supporting students both in and outside of the classroom. COVID-19 may have changed our city in many ways, but it has not changed the City’s commitment to ensuring all Seattle youth have access to education, and the support they need to be successful.”
Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds were awarded to 17 community-based organizations to enhance or expand a diverse array of student enrichment opportunities, including reading, writing, STEM, social justice, college mentorship, career exploration, physical fitness, and arts. Funded programs will provide K-12 students with greater access to academic supports and culturally-responsive enrichment experiences promoting physical wellness and social-emotional learning. Of the 17 award recipients, eight are first-time funding recipients from DEEL with award sizes ranging from $5,720 to $99,940. Funded organizations are largely concentrated in the South Seattle area.
“East African Community Center is grateful for DEEL’s support of our academic support programs this summer. This funding award will allow us to extend MathCode+Robotics Summer Expression sessions which provide East African immigrant and refugee students opportunities to build and code their own robotics and websites, helping young people develop mathematics skills while exploring skills necessary for STEM jobs of tomorrow,” said Amir Noir Soulkin, Development Director of East African Community Center.
When the pandemic shifted learning online, research predicted steep learning loss and a widening of race-based opportunity and achievement gaps for students of color. Schools and community-based organizations were challenged to adapt and implement new ways to deliver high-quality instruction and support for students and families. In response, the Mayor and City Council approved legislation to provide DEEL flexibility in how FEPP Levy funds are invested to address student needs during COVID-19.
“We want our students to enter school this fall healthy, happy and ready to learn, which will require proactive investments in resources and support,” said Dwane Chappelle, DEEL Director. “Our students not only need academic support, but college mentorship and activities that support their health and well-being too. Investing in community organizations who provide expanded learning opportunities and wraparound services to students with the highest levels of need is an important strategy to eliminate opportunity gaps so all students can thrive.”
Prolonged distance-learning has had tremendous impacts on students’ academic health and well-being, disproportionately affecting BIPoC, first-generation, low-income, refugee and immigrant status students. This funding opportunity prioritized diverse BIPoC-led organizations working to serve communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to meet the urgent needs of students. DEEL staff and members of the FEPP Levy Oversight Committee reviewed more than 40 applications to identify awardees.
“Summer has traditionally brought a chance for students to explore new interests, connect with caring adults, or find respite from traditional schooling and discover joy in learning. These still hold true even during this second summer of COVID-19. DEEL’s Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds will help students find programs that can meet these and other needs and help students prepare for their futures,” said FEPP Levy Oversight Committee Member and SESEC Executive Director, Erin Okuno.
“We are thrilled to receive the DEEL Community-Based Summer Enhancement grant for our school-age program for children with disabilities and special health care needs,” said Snejana Gibskaya, Director of Early Learning programs at Northwest Center. “The funds will allow us to enhance our summer program activities and foster collaborations with more community partners that support our mission of inclusion. After being forced to cancel most of our enrichment events last summer, we are looking forward to expanding exciting opportunities for our school-age children.”
“South End Stories is excited to serve the Lowell Elementary School community this summer. We can’t wait to see students playing, laughing, creating, dancing, making movies, and developing their identity through art exploration,” said Donte Felder, Executive Director of South End Stories. “Our program aims to ignite joy and curiosity through anti-racist curriculum and artistic sensibility. We will use 21st century pedagogy grounded in creative expression to provide hope and inspiration for the students in our upcoming summer camp.”
Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds are being offered alongside other FEPP Levy investments also benefiting K-12 students this summer. All thirty FEPP Levy School-Based Investment partner schools will offer both in-person and hybrid summer learning and enrichment programming for Seattle youth. Additionally, several of DEEL’s community-based Opportunity and Access partners will provide college and career exploration and mentoring.
The full list of Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds award recipients are below:
- Atlantic Street Center – $95,000
- Boys & Girls Club of King County – $83,989
- BRAVE – $60,943
- Catholic Community Services of Western Washington – $41,174
- Coyote Central – $70,000
- East African Community Services – $99,940
- El Centro de la Raza – $35,000
- Friends of the Children – $93,805
- The Good Foot Arts Collective – $39,292
- Northwest Center – $17,614
- Refugee Women’s Alliance – $25,000
- Safe Homes – $100,000
- Seattle Parks and Recreation – $60,250
- South End Stories – $86,019
- Students and Family Support Program – $26,779
- University Tutors of Seattle – $5,720
- WA-BLOC – $59,475
The City of Seattle Department of Education and Early Learning’s mission is to transform the lives of Seattle children, youth, and families through strategic investments in education. www.seattle.gov/education