Students playing at the Lakeridge Elementary school playgrond in Renton.
Last month, the Community Center for Education Results launched the second round of the Elementary Learning Support Grant opportunity to back organizations supporting families and students in the Renton Innovation Zone (RIZ) schools: Bryn Mawr, Campbell Hill, Lakeridge, and Highlands and/or Tukwila elementary schools through July 2021.
Partners received funds (a total of $167,074) to offset the cost of nine projects centered around academics and/or social and emotional learning (SEL), with a focus on family engagement and/or out of school time. Each of the nine participating projects include partnership with local schools, communities, and organizations in order to support the Renton Innovation Zone and Tukwila’s Black students, Indigenous students, low-income and students of color in equitable ways.
Project: “Math in My Backyard”
The Backpack Academy believes in fighting for students to have self-confidence, critical thinking, analytical and problem solving skills through STEM education and life skill workshops. Math In My Backyard is a weekly, online program where 2nd – 5th grade students in the Renton Innovation Zone (RIZ) will make use of math concepts available to them in their immediate environment. Through participation in the program, students will shift their mindset around learning math and will learn that math is within their grasp through exploring concepts like perimeter, area, and fractions in their backyard.
Communities In Schools of Renton-Tukwila
Project: “Re-engage Tukwila Families”
Communities In Schools of Renton-Tukwila (CISR-T) provides resources and supports for students who have historically been the furthest from educational justice, addressing inequalities prevalent in our educational system. CISR-T will offer small groups for students referred to them for social and emotional learning skill building. Students referred by school teams will be supported in their social and emotional well-being through work in small groups. CISR-T will also create stronger partnerships with the school community by intentionally engaging with the families of participating students.
Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program
Project: “Book Up Summer”
Page Ahead helps children realize their potential by providing them with the inspiration to read. Before summer break, K-2nd grade students in Tukwila will select 12 books at free book fairs to help reduce or eliminate the summer learning slide and build up their home libraries. Families will be invited to a virtual family literacy night at which school staff will discuss Book Up Summer and family reading.
Silent Task Force & Construyendo Juntos
Project: “South King County Rise Together ”
Silent Taskforce and Construyendo Juntos are grassroots entities led by women of color who are passionate about holistically serving the community through out of school time programs, parent capacity-building, and family and community advocacy. The South King County Rise Together (SKCRT) project will expand on their project in RIZ that started over the summer to create community self-sufficiency in African Diaspora and Afro Latino communities of color. SCKRT is creating COVID-19 and disaster preparedness home kits, providing trainings, and offering community resources for families regarding how to prepare for disasters and cope with COVID-19.
Project: “Tiered Supports for Fostering Social Skills” (two grants, one in RIZ, one in Tukwila)
Sound Discipline partners with educators, organizations, and families to transform schools into equitable learning communities. Their project will introduce a strengths-based Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) screening program and I Belong and Matter: Small Groups for Fostering Social Skills curriculum for students identified in the process as having lagging social and emotional skills. Educators at Lakeridge and Bryn Mawr in RIZ and Thorndyke in Tukwila will use the screener to identify classroom SEL strengths and implement targeted interventions to help students progress in social skill development.
Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond
Project: “Improving Family and Community Engagement in RIZ Schools”
SPEB (formerly known as the Somali Parents Education Board) believes our children’s success depends upon strong partnerships between parents, schools and communities. For this project, SPEB will continue expanding the Transforming Partnerships Leadership Institute at RIZ schools and continue co-creating space for collaboration and engaging with local families and schools. This project will focus on engaging Latinx, immigrant, and refugee families of color, and offer trainings for families on virtual learning platforms, SEL, and academic curriculum. Families will collaborate with school leaders and build their capacity to support their students’ development.
Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond
Project: “Supporting Family and Community Engagement at Thorndyke Elementary School”
SPEB will continue to work with families at Thorndyke Elementary School in Tukwila as a part of the Transforming Partnerships Leadership Institute. Families will have new opportunities to support their students’ needs. In partnership with the Tukwila Children’s Foundation, SPEB will host monthly Community Cafés for families to talk about their students’ academic and social emotional learning. Families will engage with the school around barriers they experience when communicating with the school, and SPEB will offer virtual training for families based on topics identified at Community Cafés.
Project: “Let’s Build Team Read Together in the RIZ”
Team Read propels young students to become inspired, joyful readers and teens to become impactful leaders, ready to succeed in school and life, building stronger communities for all. Team Read will use community outreach and engagement methods to explore its model of tutoring and teen mentorship at Campbell Hill Elementary School, to begin programming as early as Summer 2021. This project will build the framework for ongoing communication and the engagement of families and community, and it will be adopted as part of a pilot program to provide feedback and shape the literacy program over time.