$1M in Investments Will Go to Expand and Enhance Community-Based Programs Supporting Student Success and Wellness in Response to COVID-19
Earlier this month, the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) announced $1 million in Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds to expand summer programs for more than 1,300 K-12 students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Programs, which run from late June through August 2021, will 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.
Seventeen community-based organizations received awards ranging from $5,720 to $100,000 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. These programs, many of which are concentrated in South Seattle, 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.
Keeping Students on the Path to Success After a Challenging School Year
Prolonged distance-learning had a significant effect on many students’ academic health and well-being, disproportionately affecting BIPoC, first-generation, low-income, refugee and immigrant status students. Schools and community-based organizations were challenged to find new ways to deliver the increased academic support and wellness services that students need to remain engaged and on track with school. In response, DEEL proposed City Ordinance No. 126259 that provided flexibility in how FEPP Levy funds could be invested to address student needs during COVID-19.
Safe Homes is one of the seventeen community-based organizations funded to expand existing academic and enrichment summer programs for Seattle K-12 students and their parents through DEEL’s Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds. This summer, Safe Homes is expanding “Ready Set Go,” a program that prepares and empowers African American students and their parents for a successful college-going process. Janis Clark, Safe Homes Founder and Agency Director states, “I am humbled and grateful that Safe Homes, through this award, will be able to ensure more youth who are most heavily impacted by the pandemic achieve educational equity and summer enrichment.”
Summer Investments Support College and Career Readiness, Mentoring, and Social-Emotional Learning
These 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 with a focus on social-emotional learning. DEEL estimates that up to 2,200 students will participate in summer learning programs at levy partner schools this summer.
Year round, DEEL’s School-Based Investments fund supplemental services for students at the school level to help students who are not yet meeting grade-level standards get the support and resources they need to become college and career ready. Partner schools leverage funding from FEPP Levy School-Based Investments and additional funding sources such as Title I and Learning Assistance Program (LAP) to provide students with academic, enrichment, college & career readiness, and social emotional learning programming during the summer. Specific services and opportunities funded by DEEL’s School-Based Investments include academic tutoring and case management, STEM programming, visual and performing arts, work-based learning and more.
Many of DEEL’s community-based Opportunity and Access partners are also providing college and career exploration and mentoring this summer. This investment area funds community-based organizations to help students develop the skills necessary to graduate on-time and achieve their postsecondary goals.
Community-Based Summer Enhancement and COVID-19 Response Funds Awardees
Following are program details for the 17 organizations receiving funding for summer 2021:
Atlantic Street Center, $95,000: The Summer Academy program provides academic and experiential learning for elementary age youth living in central and southeast Seattle who are not yet meeting grade level standards. Programming includes reading, writing, and math instruction in addition to nutritious meals, counseling, and cultural enrichment activities such as theatre, art, and field trips.
Boys & Girls Club of King County, $83,989: The Work, Learn and Earn summer program serves middle school students in Southeast Seattle with culturally relevant instruction and hands-on learning activities in math, reading, writing, art, and English-language arts. Participating youth also engage in real-life applications of financial literacy including investing, managing stock portfolios and spreadsheets, field trips and physical exercise.
BRAVE, $60,943: The Trailblazers Summer Program provides self-identity exploration programming through a social-justice lens for BIPoC youth in 9th and 10th grades. In this program, youth engage in social justice curriculum and create self-development goals, engage in college and career exploration and student-led professional development. This program also provides additional wellness services that promote healthy family connections through trips, activities, workshops and resources for the whole family.
Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, $41,174: The Youth Tutoring Program provides health and wellness programming for elementary and middle school students in low-income public housing communities in Seattle. Programming includes reading-level literature circles facilitated by teen interns, science days, cooking class, coding, art days, and game days.
Coyote Central, $70,000: The Studio Coyote summer program provides middle school youth with hands-on learning in creative fields including art, filmmaking, food, architecture, fashion design, music, woodworking, animation, podcasting, and more. Studio Coyote youth learn not only the skills and tools of a creative medium but also problem-solving, self-awareness, social skills, and self-efficacy. Studio Coyote youth leave the program with new skills, confidence in their capabilities, and new awareness of creative professions and the tools to build a positive future for themselves.
East African Community Services, $99,940: The Horn of Summer program provides project-based learning in English-language arts, mathematics, math, coding, robotics, and fitness for K-8th East African immigrant and refugee students living in South Seattle neighborhoods.
El Centro de la Raza, $35,000: The Plaza Roberto Maestra’s Summer Learning Program serves middle school Latinx, immigrant and refugee students of color in in the Beacon Hill, Rainer Valley and South Seattle areas. This program provides academic support designed to ensure students return to school ready to meet grade-level or above academic requirements. Programming also includes weekly educational field trips focusing on environmental justice, ecology, and outdoor activities with a focus on physical and mental health, well-being, and social-emotional learning.
Friends of the Children, $93,805: Friends of the Children Mentoring Program provides intensive, trauma-informed, long-term professional mentoring for at-risk youth in grades K-12. This program supports youth to develop positive goals, avoid the juvenile justice system, develop healthy lifestyle habits and graduate high school to pursue their college and career goals. Program activities include arts, sports, exploring nature and additional activities with a focus on pro-social development, health and wellness.
The Good Foot Arts Collective, $39,292: The Good Foot Power UP and Level UP Enrichment Programs provide incoming 9th grade high school students at Franklin and Rainier Beach high schools with academic instruction in math, language arts, academic study skills, social-emotional skills, and college and career exploration. The Good Foot programs place a strong emphasis on cultural identity, building positive relationships, navigating high school, leadership and self-advocacy skills.
Northwest Center, $17,614: The Summer Program for School-Age Children provides health and wellness services for children and youth with moderate to severe disabilities or special health care needs. Activities include spending time outdoors, art, music, movement, yoga, opportunities for peer engagement, social-emotional development, mental health and well-being.
Refugee Women’s Alliance, $25,000: The After-School Elementary School STEM Exploration and Youth Job Readiness Training programs provide hands-on hybrid and in-person academic activities including coding, robotics, 3D modeling, engineering, and field trips and individualized tutoring.
Safe Homes, $100,000: Safe Homes’ “Ready Set Go’’ program supports and prepares African-American youth for college and empowers parents to engage in their child’s college trajectory. This program serves middle and high-school age youth experiencing homelessness, foster care, disconnection from school or those involved in the juvenile justice system, with an intentional focus on social-emotional skill-building to strengthen education and career outcomes.
Seattle Parks and Recreation, $60,250: SPR’s Summer Learning Career Lab program serves 7th and 8th grade youth who attend Aki Kurose, Denny, Mercer, and Washington middle schools. Programming includes academic support, college and career exploration, and skill building activities for job readiness including communication, customer service, problem solving and professionalism.
South End Stories, $86,019: The Academy of Play summer program is a Black-led, culturally responsive, trauma-informed arts program providing Seattle elementary-age youth with immersive project-based arts opportunities. Programming includes creating graphic novels, poetry, expressions of justice in dance, screenwriting and drawing with a strong focus on social-emotional learning to empower students to reconnect with their school community and transition back to in-person learning in a supportive and playful environment.
Students and Family Support Program, $26,779: The Summer Advancement Program provides African American elementary school students with academic instruction and support in math, reading and writing. Programming also includes physical fitness and social-emotional development activities to help them feel ready and prepared for in-person learning in the fall.
University Tutors of Seattle, $5,720: The University Tutors for Seattle Program is partnering with West Seattle Elementary School to provide academic support and acceleration programming for elementary students most at risk of not meeting grade-level standards. Programming provides students with opportunities to receive in-person instruction and catch up with their learning before heading back-to-school in fall.
WA-BLOC, $59,475: The Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools Summer program provides grade-level civil rights integrated reading curriculum, intergenerational leadership, and a youth-led National Day of Social Action toward community-based solutions for students at Emerson Elementary School. Additional activities include family access to healthy food and family engagement activities.
The 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.