Announcing Pierce County ELO Fund Subgrantees

In partnership with Pierce County, the Foundation for Tacoma Students is thrilled to announce the first round of funded programs through the Pierce County Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) Fund! This is the first of three rounds of funding, through which the Foundation will allocate more than $700,000 to support summer programming that engages young people in hands-on, experiential learning that builds critical social-emotional skills. 

The following programs are selected to receive funding for their strong alignment with the goal of the ELO Fund to provide expanded learning opportunities that focus on social-emotional learning outcomes for youth of color from low-income backgrounds throughout Pierce County.

· The Rescue Mission – Tacoma Rescue Mission’s Summer Youth Program | A half-day preschool focused on holistic growth and kindergarten prep. One-site programming for elementary aged students focused on preventing summer learning loss, and healing through activities like art, dance, and music. Programming for teens focused on summer learning loss, development of life skills, and exploration career and college options.

· The Strong Experience – Strong Youth Institute Summer Academy  | The Strong Youth Institute Summer Academy focuses on building community and culture. The program supports social-emotional health with a focus on self-awareness, developing a vision for the future, and identifying values. Participants will learn about healthy relationships and how to listen to others to understand their experience especially during conflict.

· Arts Corps – LIT Digital Art Camp | A digital media art camp that engages students from the Salishan community and adjacent neighborhoods. Students will participate in five days of digital media arts workshops and receive mentored support as they imagine, develop, and produce final artwork.

· Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center – Royal Wakanda Dance Camp | Royal Wakanda Dance Camp for children ages 3 – 10 to explore imaginary worlds, learn new skills, dance together, and make friends. Campers explore themes of feeling sad, angry, and overcoming adversity; and experience relatable sheroes and heroes of color during story time and through engagement with guest artists.

· Pierce College District – Pierce Summer Equity Empowerment Programs | Pierce College’s Equity Empowerment Programs provide students of color with learning opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence and social-emotional health; strengthen knowledge and exposure to STEM and role models to build aspirations to pursue STEM careers and strengthen the college pipeline between Pierce College and area high schools.

· Build 2 Lead – Build 2 Lead Summer Leadership and Advocacy Institute | The Summer Leadership Advocacy Institute provides students with culturally relevant knowledge and tools to advocate for themselves in the systems of education. Designed to provide incoming and current 9th grade students with a summer learning opportunity, the advocacy institute focuses on three key pillars: leadership, advocacy, and generational wealth.

· Communities in Schools Tacoma – Summer Success Program | The Summer Success Program focuses on social-emotional learning outcomes, mental health, STEAM, and academic support for middle and high school students. Students engage with hands-on enrichment programming, credit recovery, therapy groups, recreational activities, mentorship, and community service projects.