In many ways, Seattle fulfills plenty of the stereotypes it's known for nationally: it's a politically progressive hotbed where delicious coffee flows like water and rainy days are here to stay! But there's much more to this place than waterproof jackets and gluten-free desserts. People who take the time to explore the Emerald City soon find that the Seattle community is incredibly diverse, vibrant, and strongly committed to youth empowerment and education. Best of all, Seattle is a major hub for AmeriCorps programs of all kinds, and serving in this city grants you automatic entry into a fun, welcoming network of service members from all across the country.
Tyee Educational Complex
Highline School District serves students in south King County, especially in SeaTac, Burien, and White Center. Specifically, Tyee Educational Complex is a site for three small high schools--Academy of Citizenship and Empowerment, Global Connections, and Odyssey. These smaller schools aim to provide students with a more personalized education. Located within one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation, Tyee Educational Complex strives to serve the needs of their students.
At Tyee, the NDA member will assist in business or marketing classes, providing small group and individual support for students. Additionally, the member may also assist students in DECA competitions, organize volunteer projects for the students with local businesses, and help with large projects. Overall, the NDA member will focus on providing the students with additional support in understanding business and marketing topics.
Community Schools Collaboration (CSC)
Community Schools Collaboration partners with families, schools, and communities to create the conditions where all children can learn, grow, and thrive. CSC works in schools in south King County where many children and youth face high barriers both inside and outside of the classroom. The integrated programs help students and their families build the skills and assets they need for academic and personal success.
NDA members serve in classrooms during the school day, offering academic support to students in classrooms with the highest level of need. Members also play a key role in the after-school program as academic assistants in the Homework Help Centers. Occasionally members are able to lead or facilitate various enrichment activities that play on the strengths and passions that each individual member brings to the site.
Check out the high school program blog at http://csctyee.wordpress.com
Feet First is an organization in Seattle that aims to promote walkable communities. Feet First started in 1995 as a group of citizens and professionals with a common goal, and it became an official 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2001. Today, Feet First inspires, connects, and informs wide-ranging discussions with government agencies, developers, and community groups to promote walkable communities.
The NDA member will serve to improve the lives of adults and children in their neighborhoods by making it safer and easier for children to walk to school. Feet First’s Safe Routes to School Events Coordinator will take a leadership role in promoting healthy lifestyles for children and families, gain hands-on experience in event planning, receive training on safety issues and urban design, collaborate with co-workers, gain work experience with the K-12 public education system and work with people from exceptionally diverse backgrounds and cultures. The member will conduct direct service at up to four separate elementary and middle schools in Seattle.
Outdoor Opportunities (O2)
Outdoor Opportunities (O2) is an outdoor expedition level program designed to expose multi-ethnic teens to environmental education, urban conservation, and stewardship, while creating an environment for community leadership and empowerment. The free program is open to Seattle youth between the ages of 15 and 19 years old and is overseen by the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department.
NDA members serve at one of two locations: Discovery Park (north end) or Camp Long (south end). During the school year, members facilitate weekly after school environmental education programming, seasonal environmental service projects, and monthly overnight excursions. Programming expands during the summer, especially in terms of overnight trips and day camps. Members serve alongside O2 program staff in all aspects of the planning, facilitation, and delivery of the program. The program recruits local students and corresponds with their families, allowing many youth who have never enjoyed the outdoors to have access to environmental education.
Garfield High School
Located in the Central District of Seattle, Garfield High School's mission states, "Recognizing our diverse history, Garfield educates all students as they become active citizens and achieve academic excellence. Equity is at the heart of our school." In order to focus on this mission, Garfield seeks to provide extra support to students, especially in preparing for the various graduation requirements of the Seattle School District. One of those requirements is the High School Proficiency Exam (HSPE). Students take the HSPE in a variety of subjects in order to graduate, and passing the science HSPE will be a graduation requirement starting in 2014-2015.
Therefore, Notre Dame AmeriCorps members at Garfield High School will support students in physical science and biology classes. Members will serve in the classroom with small groups of students, focusing on helping students grasp the concepts and stay caught up in class. Members will also help in other science classes, especially those classes designed for students who have not passed the science HSPE and who are instead creating a COE (collection of evidence) in order to pass. In COE classes, AmeriCorps members will assist students that are working independently on performance projects and support them through the process of completing the full project.
Rainier Beach High School
Rainier Beach is a comprehensive high school. The smaller size of the high school allows for a more personalized education and enables the staff to know students well — a key factor in student achievement. Rainier Beach offers a wide variety of classes, and strong mentoring programs support incoming ninth-graders in the transition to high school. The school’s mission is “to empower our students to become lifelong learners, through the support of family, staff, and community, and to excel academically and creatively in a multicultural world!”
An NDA member at Rainier Beach will focus on providing academic support to students who have D’s and E’s in core classes. In order to accomplish this, the NDA member will collaborate with teachers and staff to identify which students and classes could benefit from additional support. The member will provide one-on-one or small group support to students during core classes, assist with homework completion, and meet with students individually to discuss progress. The NDA member will also develop a tracking system for the students being served, monitoring their attendance and any changes in the grades or test scores. By offering this additional support, 10th grade students should be more prepared for IB level instruction during their 11th grade year.
Powerful Voices (PV) fosters adolescent girls' development by providing programs and promoting social justice so girls can realize their dreams, engage their communities and shape a better world. Since 1995, Powerful Voices has been improving the lives of girls in Seattle through innovative evidence-based programs in public middle schools, the juvenile justice system, through employment readiness programs, and case management. PV measures success by the changes created in girls lives as they work toward a vision of Girl Justice, where girls and their community come together to advocate for justice and equity. As a social justice organization, they believe that success begins by living out our values of safety, diversity, justice, innovation and integrity in all of the work that they do. Recognizing the impact of economic, racial and gender disparities, their work centers on supporting girls most impacted by institutional oppression. As a result they reach out to young women of color, ages 12-18, that are living in low-income households.
An NDA member with Powerful Voices will assist in facilitating school-based groups at Asa Mercer and Denny International Middle Schools and a community-based summer program called Girls Rising for girls ages 12-14. The member will meet with each school-based group at least once a week, in addition to planning monthly individual check-ins with the youth. During the summer, the member will help recruit for the Girls Rising program and then help in leading the program, meeting with the group twice a week. All of these programs are highly focused on promoting positive girl culture and allowing the youth to take on leadership opportunities.
El Centro de la Raza
El Centro de la Raza is a voice and a hub for Seattle’s Latino community as it advocates on behalf of our people and work to achieve social justice. Through its comprehensive programs and services, El Centro empowers members of the Latino community as fully participating members of society.
NDA members serve with El Centro's College Readiness Program at the high school and middle school level. El Centro partners with several schools in Seattle (currently Chief Sealth High School, Ballard High School, and Denny Middle School) in order to ensure the success of the College Readiness Program. Members serve in the high school classrooms several days a week, coaching Latino youth through the college preparation process, assisting students with everything from basic college applications, financial aid paperwork, and scholarship research. Members also serve at El Centro's office during the week, managing a case load of specific students and making themselves available to the community. Members typically serve at Denny Middle School about once a month, leading presentations about different college opportunities.
Youth Employment & Service Learning (YES)
Youth Employment and Service Learning through Seattle Parks and Recreation focuses on providing hands-on experiences for youth that will allow them to develop well-rounded skills, especially in terms of job readiness.
One NDA member spearheads three programs focusing on education through service projects and employment preparation: Teen Intern Program (TIP), Civil Justice Corps (CJC) and the Student Teen Employment Preparation (STEP) program. TIP pairs teens with local non-profit organizations in job shadowing and community mentoring opportunities. CJC is a vocational training program for youth and young adults who are homeless or are in transitional living situations. This program will partner with other community based organizations to develop job experiences that will help participants gain work skills, strengthen their resume and provide workforce preparedness training. STEP is a summer-long program that teaches job readiness skills to teens through urban environmental restoration projects as well as addressing other community needs.
The NDA member will help maintain and create new partnerships with various organizations; develop, revise, and implement curriculum for the programs; work with schools and youth groups to develop service learning projects during the school year; help support two youth oriented career fairs; and coordinate job readiness workshops for youth.
The Able Teens Program (TAT)
Another fantastic program of the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, Able Teens offers collaborative vocational training activities for students with and without disabilities by utilizing the service learning method.
One NDA member will oversee an after school program that operates daily for teens with special needs, while working closely with community based organizations to develop volunteer experiences that will support the employable skill development and incorporate training and social experiences. In addition to incorporating local volunteers to support the TAT program, the member will coordinate monthly family meetings so parents can share ideas for other types of volunteer work or skill development goals and to provide resources that will be helpful to TAT students and their families. By the end of the service term, this NDA member will have significantly increased access to substantive service and educational opportunities for countless students with special needs.
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