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Summerstravaganza: What’s Happening Around the State

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Afterschool and Summer News

School’s Out Washington has ramped up our focus on summer and is excited about the great work happening across the state this year. Check out some of these programs we’re partnering with, great examples of the impact that summer programming can have on children and youth.

Seattle Summer Learning Featured on KUOW

Last week, KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld highlighted Seattle Public Schools’ summer program expansion demonstrating not only why summer is important, but how programs can support academic success while also providing fun, engaging learning opportunities. Hear the full story.

STEM & Quality in Seattle’s Central District


Courtesy Public News Service

Last month, we highlighted summer programs taking part in School’s Out Washington’s STEM pilot project. Some of these programs are also participating in a Summer Learning Program Quality Intervention, and were highlighted in a news story that aired on June 19th.

As Washington Middle School Community Learning Center coordinator Marissa Rousselle states in the story talking about her program, “If I can get a student enrolled in this gardening club that they really connect to – and maybe it’s a student who told me they didn’t like science, before – perhaps they’ll come to school and pay more attention in their science class,” Rousselle said, “because they realize the connection to this club that they actually really enjoy.” Marissa Rousselle, said the goal is for summer’s enthusiasm to continue into the school year. Read the full story.

Centered on Community in Chewelah

A Feed Your Brain grantee in the town of Chewelah north of Spokane, the local elementary School  is centering their summer programming around community. Children are learning all about what constitutes a community, from government institutions to necessary services. The program has included field trips to police and fire departments and the town mayor’s office. The summer teachers have guided and helped the students come up with questions to ask before they go to conduct interviews.

In line with the theme, the kids keep vocabulary word lists of related terminology, for example “voting” and “municipal.” They then write journal reflections on their experience, coming up with other questions centered around the theme (such as “How does the water get into the water tower?”).

Youth & Family Link in Kelso Merging Literacy and Fitness

At Wallace Elementary School in Kelso, also a Feed Your Brain grantee, the program staff set up decorations to provide a camp-like feel: canopies, sleeping bags, pillow pets, and camp fire made of tissue paper. These sites couple literacy activities with a physical fitness program. They gets the kids moving in fun and creative ways, often incorporating literacy in the movement (e.g. spell a word while you are doing jumping jacks).

Culture and Food at El Centro de la Raza in Seattle

El Centro de la Raza was one of six summer programs selected to receive a Let’s Get Cookin’ grant provided with funding from the City of Seattle Human Services Department Youth and Family Empowerment Division, Seattle Tilth Association, and Pike Place Market Foundation and PDA. Let’s Get Cookin’ works to increase access to healthy local foods, increase cooking skills, and decrease health disparities. El Centro’s summer program is doing that by bringing children into their community garden to harvest fresh ingredients, as well as learning about nutrition and Mexican recipes. Children are learning the history of the food and its role in their culture. They will work in small project groups responsible for developing and cooking their own recipe for a final project, including a tasting for parents during a final summer celebration

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