Joined by educators and children of Seattle’s La Escuelita Bilingual School, Mayor Mike McGinn announced today (Aug. 31) openings in the City of Seattle’s free and reduced-fee preschool programs. The Seattle Human Services Department is now enrolling 4-year-olds from low- to moderate-income families in free or low-cost, high-quality preschool programs. Step Ahead and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) still have free or reduced-cost spaces available for more than 250 children at 21 sites in southeast and southwest Seattle this school year. Step Ahead is funded by the Seattle Families and Education Levy, and ECEAP is funded by the state of Washington. For more information about these programs — locations, eligibility and applications — call 206-386-1050. For more information please visit this Web site.
The Seattle Human Services Department’s Summer Food Service Program begins on Monday, June 27th at 90 sites throughout the city. Open from June 27th to Friday, August 26, the program provides free breakfasts, lunches and snacks for children and youth ages 1 through 18. The meals are served to children at approved sites where at least half the children are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunches For more information, please contact Javier Pulido, Program Coordinator, Human Services Department, at 206-386-1140 or email@example.com. For a KOMO TV report on the program, please click here. See this news release for details.
The City of Seattle’s Office for Education is sponsoring a series of more than 20 workshops beginning on June 23rd, 2011 for anyone interested in the implementation of the proposed Families & Education Levy renewal strategies. Registration is required. For a schedule of workshops see this Web link.
Beginning on March 1, 2011, the Seattle Human Services Department will realign its operations to better meet the needs of constituents and the community. The work of former divisions including Youth Development & Achievement, Early Learning & Family Support, and Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Prevention will be restructured to become two divisions: the Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division and Youth & Family Empowerment Division. The Community Support & Self-Sufficiency Division will encompass all of HSD’s programs that assist individuals and families as they work toward self-sufficiency. The Youth & Family Empowerment Division will take a more holistic approach to providing services from early childhood to young adulthood, including paths to post-secondary training – college, vocational training, apprenticeships into skilled trades, or other employment. For more details about these and other changes please read this special edition of Life Lines newsletter.
The Seattle Foundation, one of the nation’s largest community foundations, recently launched a new Web site, the Giving Center. The site provides information for prospective donors on 675 nonprofits doing a wide range of work. Financial and evaluation information is included for each organization described. Launch of the site was covered in the Seattle Times and New York Times.
KPLU Radio recently aired this story about a new emphasis on early learning in Seattle. The City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools, with the help of the New School Foundation, have entered into a five-year plan to improve achievement for kids from preschool to 3rd grade. By then, kids should proficient in reading and math. Says the Seattle Human Services Department’s early learning director, Bea Kelleigh, “If you don’t have fundamental skills by 3rd grade, you’re in a very tough situation.” A final draft of the five-year plan is expected by the end of the year.
The fight against tobacco use and obesity just got a big boost. The Seattle Human Services Department (HSD) was among the recipients of 51 Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grants totaling $8.9 million from Public Health – Seattle & King County to fund school districts, community-based organizations, and local governments to improve nutrition and physical activity, and decrease tobacco use. HSD received two awards:
- $200,483 to the Aging & Disability Services division to reduce the price of fresh produce for 17 congregate meal sites and one home-delivered meal provider by cooperatively purchasing directly from local farmers.
- $73,000 to Early Learning and Family Support division to increase availability of healthy foods and children’s physical activity in early learning and afterschool programs serving children ages birth through 12.
For details about this federal stimulus-funded grant program, please see this press release and the CPPW Web site. If you have questions, please contact Jerry DeGrieck, HSD, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-684-0684.
A report by Children’s HealthWatch shows that access to benefits such as nutrition, housing and utility support programs makes a significant difference in a child’s lifelong development and learning. Compared to children in low-income families receiving no benefits, children in households receiving benefits were more likely to meet the criteria for being a “well” child, less likely to have been hospitalized since birth and less likely to be at risk for developmental delays. See the full report at: http://www.childrenshealthwatch.org/upload/resource/multiplehardships_report_jun10.pdf
The 2010 Child and Youth Well-Being Index is an analysis by the Foundation for Child Development. Among other findings, the report shows that the number of children living in poverty this year in the U.S. will climb to 22 percent, the highest in two decades.
Beginning on June 28 thousands of Seattle children ages 1 through 18 will enjoy free breakfasts and lunches this summer through the Seattle Human Services Department’s Summer Food Service Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program, also known as “Summer Sack Lunch,” is open to children at qualifying sites. From June 28 through Aug. 27, the meals will be served at approximately 100 sites across the city. These include designated community centers, Seattle park playgrounds, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and YWCAs, and other community sites throughout Seattle and parts of King County. For more information see this news release.