What’s New

What’s New2019-04-24T15:49:35-07:00

What’s new


Partner Spotlight: Developing Youth Outside of School

This piece was not featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report.

Hilltop Artists is a youth development program, which uses art as a means of engagement. Our programs are open to youth ages 12 to 20 throughout the area, and we do lots of intentional outreach to students who are marginalized in different ways.

We run three two-week sessions at Jason Lee Middle School in the summer, with three classes a day so that we can serve more students. We also offer two two-week sessions at Wilson High School […]

By |May 1st, 2019|

Partner Spotlight: Investing in Access

This piece was featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report. 

“Graduate Tacoma access funds have helped support the Tacoma Arts Live Cultural Arts Program since 2016, which provides arts-based expanded learning opportunities, through Ballet Folklorico and World Drumming. We started with an arts-integrated summer program at Roosevelt Elementary five years ago, and it has grown into year-round services with performance opportunities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels on the Eastside.

We focus on three levels of accessibility: geographic, economic, and cultural/linguistic. What we’re interested in is creating a […]

By |May 1st, 2019|

Partner Spotlight: Planting Seeds

This piece was not featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report

Ready, Set, Read helps provide families with the tools and support they need to develop the skills and habit of reading together with their child. When families have tools, they thrive. But not all families have the tools for literacy.

We have 41 sites with volunteers on each site every day. Children get prizes for every ten books they read. If they read 60 books, they become Champions. We’ve compared Washington kids’ scores and found that […]

By |May 1st, 2019|

Partner Spotlight: Playing to Learn

This piece was featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report.

Inclusive Play to Learn is the Children’s Museum of Tacoma’s free drop-in kindergarten readiness program offered at 25 sites across Pierce County. Our sites extend as far west as Key Peninsula and out east to Bonney Lake. Our goal is to be within a 20-30 minute drive from any child in the county.

We take the program out to community centers, schools or libraries. We come in with our toys and supplies, play and learn with families for […]

By |May 1st, 2019|

Partner Spotlight: Safety Net

This piece was featured in the 2019 Community Impact Report. 

“Our Homeless Child Care Program provides families with short-term childcare subsidy, placement into high quality, licensed child care programs, and customized service coordination with other resources. Childcare provides children in crisis a safe and stimulating environment with routines, structure, and opportunities to thrive, while enabling their parents to maintain momentum in addressing housing, employment, and health challenges. Without our support, these children would often not have access to early learning opportunities. Research on childhood homelessness and associated traumas reveals a profound and […]

By |May 1st, 2019|

Statewide school levy ‘fix’ has put Tacoma in a fix

An edited version of this article was published in The News Tribune on April 20, 2019

Why has the Legislature’s solution to provide more uniform and equitable state education funding left 253 of the state’s 295 school districts facing devastating budget cuts this school year?

A court case in 2012, known as the McCleary decision, found the state to be derelict in its paramount duty to fund basic education. After five years of effort, the Legislature’s ultimate fix to the issues raised by McCleary was to cap local levy dollars in exchange for an influx […]

By |April 24th, 2019|

Planning for a Career with Next Move

Christian Isaac is a youth program director at the YMCA. It’s a career path he didn’t know he wanted until enrolling in one of the first cohorts of the Next Move internship program.

The Washington State Legislature is considering raising the enrichment levy lid, which will help plug a $30M budget shortfall for Tacoma Public Schools. The Next Move internship program is one of many enrichment programs that those levy-dollars have previously funded. Through Christian Isaac and students behind him it’s also a bright example of collective impact […]

By |February 28th, 2019|

Partner Spotlight: Kim Keith of Hilltop Artists

Kim Keith is the Executive Director of Hilltop Artists, a role she has held since May 2017. She is also on the leadership team for the Out of School and Summer Learning Network (OSSLN), which she joined her first week as ED. Since becoming a partner she has served on the review committee for Summer Access Funds, helped plan and implement the Summer Learning Tour, and routinely provides guidance and support for the content and facilitation of the monthly OSSLN meetings.

In this Q&A Kim shares why she […]

By |February 27th, 2019|

Centering Youth in Local Government

Stella Keating speaking at a recent meeting of the Mayor’s Youth Commission

While attending Tacoma’s first Mayoral Candidate Forum on LGBTQ+ issues in 2017, then-candidate Victoria Woodards met a sixth grader with a clear vision for her community.

“Youth are not included in the decisions and policies that impact our daily lives,” says Stella Keating, the now eighth grader who became the impetus for the Mayor’s Youth Commission, formerly the Mayor’s Youth Taskforce.

“Most adults don’t see kids and teenagers as leaders. I want that to change.” […]

By |February 27th, 2019|

Rodney Raccoon: Your New Favorite Children’s Book

Rodney Raccoon: Special Delivery follows Rodney and friends as they explore the wonders of the Dome-A-Roma Science Museum. They must find clues hidden through the woods, under the sea, and in the Arctic dome that will lead them to their final destination. The book is currently available for purchase on the WayOut Kids website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Graduate Tacoma Partner and member of the Early Learning & Reading Network, WayOut Kids has reached over fifteen million children since […]

By |February 27th, 2019|