Monday, July 30, 2012

Boeing volunteers help with improvements at Memorial Stadium and Nathan Hale High School

A young volunteer helps out
We love the opportunities that arise here at the Alliance to serve schools in our community! As a community partner to the Boeing Company, we were called upon to submit project ideas for Boeing’s Global Day of Service. As a supporter of Seattle Public Schools, we worked closely with the district to develop and submit projects for the Global Day of Service. We focused on two immediate needs: painting the bleacher seats at Memorial Stadium and attending to grounds maintenance at Nathan Hale High School. 

Memorial Stadium
Located in Seattle Center and owned by the Seattle School District, the stadium was built to honor former Seattle high school youths who gave their lives in World War II. Currently, Memorial Stadium is a venue for a number of school sporting events and high school graduations. It is also frequently used by the community for sports, concerts, and other gatherings. Boeing’s Global Day of Service served to spruce up this widely visited venue and ensure its continued enjoyment. Gretchen DeDecker, the liaison for service projects with Seattle Public Schools, said afterwards, "The wonderful Boeing volunteers made great progress in getting all of the north stand bleachers painted. It looks a thousand times better than before. It was fun seeing Boeing family members of all ages pitching in. Everyone, young and older, were very careful about not dripping (much appreciated!!) and applied the Boeing quality ethic throughout."

The project nearing completion!

Nathan Hale High School
During the recent remodeling of Nathan Hale High School, a large number of rain and filtration gardens were installed to manage storm water on-site rather than diverting the storm water to storm sewers, which will eventually empty into the Puget Sound, compromising water quality and marine life. These gardens must meet stringent water quality codes and can be a great burden to the school’s small grounds staff. Since pesticides may not be used, the school relies on the help of volunteers to keep the gardens weeded until the new plant material fills in adequately within the first two to three years. Approximately 20 volunteers from Boeing helped with the grounds maintenance under the supervision of a member of the school’s grounds staff. 

Thank you!
The Alliance was thrilled to contribute funds to purchase painting supplies for the Memorial Stadium project, and also provide refreshments to the volunteers at both sites. We applaud the volunteers from the Boeing Company for their energy and commitment to our community!

More pictures from the Memorial Stadium painting project can be seen here!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Welcome, Superintendent José Banda!

Superintendent José Banda with
guests (Credit: Ilona Berzups)
We enter summer with a new Seattle Public Schools superintendent, José Banda, and a sustained commitment to fostering the finest public education system possible in our city. Two weeks ago, the Alliance for Education, in partnership with El Centro de la Raza, nearly thirty other community organizations, and approximately 300 guests, welcomed Mr. Banda to our city.

A wide array of educators, school staff, parents, civic leaders, elected officials, and corporate partners attended the Welcome Reception. The following community members offered brief remarks:

Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza exhorted guests to come together in unity, quoting the poet and activist José Martí: "the peoples of the world must rush to get to know each other." Sara Morris, President and CEO of the Alliance for Education, noted that the Alliance was founded on the bedrock belief of the district being a "learning system," and looked forward to pushing forward that vision under the leadership of Superintendent Banda. Tom Stritikus, Dean and Professor at the College of Education at the University of Washington welcomed the "beloved community" (another nod to José Martí) in Spanish. Michael DeBell, Seattle Public School Board President stated, "I am asking all of you to help Jose Banda get deeply grounded in the community." Jose Banda, incoming Seattle Public Schools Superintendent, affirmed his commitment to the city: "I believe already that this is going to be a good fit."

The Seattle Times covered the event, capturing key quotes from attendees on their thoughts on what Mr. Banda needs to know about Seattle.

The vibrancy and diversity of our community was beautifully apparent that night. As Mr. Banda noted, there are so many people who genuinely want to give to Seattle Public Schools. As part of that community, we are eager to support Mr. Banda's success as he begins the work of leading our schools. The Alliance has always held its standards high, pressing for leadership with integrity, excellent academic results, and earned trust. This month we start a new chapter with Superintendent Banda.

View more photos from the event here.

Thank you to the Host Committee!

ACLU of Washington, Alliance for Education, Arab American Community Coalition, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Casa Latina , Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy, Child Care Resources, City of Seattle, Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, Denise Louie Education Center, El Centro de la Raza, Goddard College, Horn of Africa, Luis Alfonso Velásquez Flores After School Program, The Martinez Foundation, Nate Miles, Paola Maranan, Racial and Social Justice Community Roundtable, Refugee Women's Alliance, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, Seattle Housing Authority, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, Senior Services, Somali Community Services Coalition, South East Seattle Education Coalition, The Seattle Foundation, United Way of King County, University of Washington, Youth Ambassadors