SOUTH SEATTLE/SOUTH KING COUNTY – About 300 people attended the first-ever Road Map Project Awards Program ceremony Tuesday evening to celebrate the great work happening in South King County and South Seattle to advance equity and eliminate opportunity gaps for students. The event, held at the Museum of Flight, put a spotlight on the Awards Program’s 21 finalists, which were selected from a pool of more than 60 nominations. This diverse group of finalists includes partnerships, programs and initiatives that are getting excellent results, using data well for improvement purposes and collaborating to get more powerful results for students.
A panel of 15 judges, comprised of local and national experts, assisted in determining recipients for two Collective Impact Awards for overall excellence and seven Special Recognition Awards.
The Road Map Project is a community-wide effort aimed at dramatically improving student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle. The Road Map Project inaugural Awards Program aims to advance equity and eliminate opportunity gaps by recognizing amazing efforts and encouraging the spread of that success across the region.
The event featured the following guest presenters: Jackie Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation; State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez; Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust; Norman B. Rice, president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation; and Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
“We have a community here that insists that all kids matter. Across the country, we are seeing a readiness in local communities to stop finger-pointing and commit to doing more. We see folks coming together and realizing change will not happen by ourselves, through one organization or one leader. Together, we can figure out a better way,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of the national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and senior vice president of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and guest presenter at the awards ceremony.
“In my life, education has made all the difference. It is critical that every child has the opportunity to succeed. I am excited to know there is work happening in this region that is advancing equity and closing opportunity gaps,” said State Supreme Court Justice Steve Gonzalez, a guest presenter at the ceremony.
Collective Impact Awards
- “Building a system to close gaps and support young learners” – Auburn School District and Partners
- World Language Credit Program: “Building a system for crediting bilingual high school students” – School District Partners and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Special Recognition Awards
- Parent-Child Home Program: “Visiting hard-to-reach families at home to help 2-4 year olds get off to a good start” – United Way of King County and Partners
- Seattle Early Education Collaborative: “Working to ensure success in kindergarten” – Early Learning Partners and City of Seattle
- Parent Academy for Student Achievement: “Empowering parents to navigate school systems and influence student success” – Kent School District
- Diplomas Now: “Creating a school-community partnership to benefit middle school students” – City Year Seattle, Johns Hopkins University, Communities in Schools of Seattle, Aki Kurose Middle School
- “Building a system of authentic family engagement” – Federal Way Public Schools
- “Creating opportunity by accelerating academics and removing barriers to college” – Federal Way Public Schools
- “Making college admission and graduation possible” – College Access Now and School Partners
The ceremony also featured tributes to two other equity-advancing efforts: the region’s record-setting College Bound Scholarship sign-up work and the University of Washington’s amazing contributions to the region.
Many individuals and organizations are working together to ensure all eligible students sign up for the Washington State College Bound Scholarship, which promises tuition (at public tuition rates) for income-eligible students who sign up in the 7th or 8th grade and meet certain criteria. In 2013, the seven-district Road Map Project region set a record with 94% of eligible students signed up. Overall, more than 16,000 high school students in the region have signed up for the scholarship thanks to this game-changing effort.
The University of Washington is also an important force in our region, leading work in various fields and continually deepening its involvement in the Road Map Project. UW is also directly tied to two finalists: The UW Dream Project, a program to help more students attend college, and efforts to deliver ambitious STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professional development for teachers.
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