SW Youth and Family Services and Denny Middle School among Summer Learning grant recipients

SWYS gets $39,287 and Denny gets $73,363 in grant program

Southwest Youth and Family Services (SYFS) and Denny International Middle School were named by Mayor Mike McGinn as two among eight recipients of the 2013 Families and Education Levy Summer Learning grant recipients. The recipients will split $900,000 being awarded.

The Mayor, Seattle Public School officials, community leaders, and local students and parents, gathered at Northgate Elementary School made the announcement of the beginning of a city-wide investment plan to support summer learning programs – the first of its kind – included in the 2011 Families and Education Levy.

The Levy will invest in school and community-based programs serving students entering Seattle Public Schools’ elementary, middle and high schools in order to provide struggling students with additional learning time to avoid summer learning loss and catch up with their peers.

Steve Daschle, Executive Director for SYFS, said that the agency will receive $39, 287 for their Summer Young Writers’ workshop. The program, thanks to the grant will expand to allow 20 students to participate this summer. The product of the workshop is a range of writing from short stories to poetry which is compiled (without censorship) on The Boot blog which can be reached here: http://bootseattle.blogspot.com/. (See below for two samples).

Denny International Middle School Principal Jeff Clark said in a statement:

"I am thrilled to announce that Denny International Middle School has been awarded a City of Seattle Summer Learning grant to increase the number of our scholars participating in our Westside Scholars Summer School program. Next summer, we will be able to serve 220 students entering grades 6th through 8th. The summer learning grant award of $73,363 will be focused on incoming sixth graders and will be augmented by other City of Seattle Families and Education Innovation Middle School funds to provide an exciting and rigorous program with core academics and enrichment activities during the six week program."

“We know that summer learning loss disproportionately affects low-income students. Research shows that summer learning loss is estimated to account for 2/3 of the literacy achievement gap in the primary grades,” said McGinn. “By funding summer learning programs across the city, we will help close the achievement gap and reinforce our commitment to all students.”

The summer learning proposals represent a variety of partnerships between schools, Community Based Organizations (CBO) and the City. Among recipients is the Northgate Summer Academy, a collaborative program created by the Seattle Human Services Department, the Seattle Public Library, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Northgate Elementary School. This program will use innovative academic interventions and engaging enrichment opportunities to provide a supportive and creative learning environment essential to student success. All recipient programs, like Northgate Summer Academy, will provide families with unique, nontraditional methods to enhance the learning experience.

This is the first time the Levy has included funds for summer learning. Recognizing the need to offer extended learning opportunities to some students, the Levy planning committee designed a plan to use Levy funding for that purpose. The Office for Education (OFE) carried out a Request for Investment (RFI) process from Oct. 2012 to Jan. 2013 to award funds for the summer of 2013. Schools and Community Based Organizations, alone or in partnership, were encouraged to apply. Nine organizations have been awarded funds equaling $903,924, which will be used to benefit more than 950 students this year.

Recipients include:

· Seattle Parks and Recreation

· Seattle Public Schools

· The Denise Louie Education Center

· Denny International Middle School

· YMCA of Greater Seattle

· YMCA 9th Grade Transition

· Refugee Women’s Alliance

· Southwest Youth and Family Services

Programs awarded funds this year will continue to receive Levy funds through summer 2019 contingent on meeting performance targets. The Levy is expected to provide funding for summer learning programs at all grade levels totaling $17.2 million over 7 years.


Dedicated to All Poets
By Janet J Rodriguez

What you say is loud and clear
and I can’t help but bear
your voice, your attitude, and motion
I get it – I heard you and your pain and I know it
what ever place or time you wrote it
it became a master piece
and I thank you for it
for spilling your emotions on a page
spitting out what you were probably holding in
for explaining international suffrage
for taking time on rehearsing to perform for being
for being honest and professional
respect is handed to you like air
everyone should applaud
all you gotta do is bow
and do us a favor and write another

by Marcellus Brown

I am the game
The reason why you can’t get a job
Your friends are the reason why my pockets seem to throb
I am the voice in your head saying , “now you need to rob”
The reason why you spend all your money on crack
When you got a three year old crying in the back
Now tell me that ain’t whack.

‘Cause getting greenbacks is what my team is about
So go ahead and shove that yay up your snout

I am the reason why our hearts are so damn dark
The reason your grandpa’s heart just couldn’t start
I am the reason why your only option is jail or death
I am the game and there ain’t no ref.

So you either get with it or get lost
You might as well play it
‘Cause in the end there’s always a cost.

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