Preschool Makeover

SU, Swedish Medical Center and other community partners team up for tots
By Stacy Howard
Photo Credit: Courtesy: Swedish Medical Center


There won’t be a national audience or a crowd yelling, “Driver, move that bus!” But by late afternoon tomorrow, the 40 preschool children who attend The Neighborhood House - Yesler Terrace Head Start program will have much to celebrate.Thanks to numerous organizations and volunteers, the kids will get climbing equipment on a playground that’s currently empty, a new sandbox, new gutters to keep the rain from blowing in the door, new lighting to brighten up classrooms darkened by crossbars on the windows and major landscaping improvements. 

Inside the buiding, a new kitchen floor will replace the one that’s currently patched together, electrical outlets will be added, the utility room will be remodeled and an improved heating system will be installed. 

Through the Seattle University Youth Initiative, the site for remodel was identified promising the greatest impact in the short and long-term. Yesler Head Start is one of the primary early learning centers serving families in the neighborhood. “SU's long-standing and deepening partnership with Neighborhood House - Head Start will make this project more than a remodel,” said Rachael Steward, Center for Service and Community Engagement Associate Director.” The SUYI's continuing support will include classroom assistants, support for assessment, teacher training and parent engagement. 

The Seattle University Youth Initiative is a strategic effort to link the community assigned to Bailey Gatzert Elementary to the resources needed to advance the academic achievement of its children from cradle to college graduation.  Seattle University Swedish Medical Center, both members of the First Hill and Capitol Hill community, have joined The American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Washington State Society for Healthcare Engineering (WSSHE) and Seattle Housing Authority/Neighborhood House in this worthwhile effort.  They are assisting with developing and organizing the project. 

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