Creating Communities for All Youth to Thrive

Last updated: June 13, 2023, at 2:04 p.m. PT

Originally published: June 13, 2023, at 2:04 p.m. PT

Y staff helping kids with art project

Being Kindergarten ready is a big deal and has long-term impacts on graduation rates. So, when the Y learned that families in South King County were enrolling for kindergarten weeks or months after the school year started, missing hundreds of learning hours, we partnered with local schools so families could get “K-Ready” ahead of time more easily. That meant our staff and school district counselors heading down to the Matt Griffin YMCA in Highline to help smooth the registration process by inviting families to meet with school representatives, access translation services, and get clear on school vaccination requirements.

“Anybody can come to the Y. It’s a community space,” said Rosa Manriquez, Family & Community Engagement Specialist for Highline Public Schools

Holding these events at YMCA and community locations makes it convenient for families to access the support they need wherever they are. That is why, in preparation for the 2023-24 school year, we’ve scheduled K-Readiness events in Kent, Renton, Midway, and SeaTac at Y branches and community housing sites where families already gather.

Entering local school district offices can be intimidating, and online registration systems can be confusing. Thanks to many families already being engaged with the Y through childcare, swim lessons, and branch services such as Kids Zone and summer day camps, K-Readiness events are well-positioned to support families with the next step in their education journey.

“We hope to build a bridge between the school district and the community,” said Bilgehan Jansen, Y Program Director of Educational Readiness. K-Readiness events also align with the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Vision 2025: an action plan to ensure equity, justice, and Whole Person Health for all families, especially BIPOC families.

Category: Impact Newsletter