Family Engagement

When families are engaged in the early learning and the formal school experience of their young learners, those youth often show improved performance in all grade levels regardless of a family’s background or socioeconomic status. This makes family engagement integral to student success.  Seattle U students, staff and faculty can contribute to the success of SUYI Family Engagement Programs by volunteering on a regular basis, committing to a few signature events per year or donating to one of the drives.  

Learn more about upcoming Family Engagement volunteer opportunities on ConnectSU.

Spirit of Giving

The Giving Tree and Annual Family Holiday Drive at Seattle U, Nov 13th-Dec 8th.

Each year, the Center for Community Engagement hosts the Spirit of Giving. Last year we received over 1000 food items and nearly 150 gifts for families in our community. We hope to get more SU students, faculty, and staff to share in this time of giving with us by offering opportunities to volunteer in many different capacities. We’re looking for artists, conversationalists, and overall happy people so that we can spread the cheer and Spirit of Giving throughout campus and the community.

Read more about Spirit of Giving

2017 Giving Tree

Join the Center for Community Engagement this holiday season by supporting local youth, adults and families in the Spirit of Giving. Visit our annual Giving Tree in the University Services Building or check out the new online process by signing up for a gift at

Students having their photo taken at a family engagement activity


Family Talk Time Volunteers

We host a free English language class for parents of Bailey Gatzert students on Mondays and Wednesdays mornings throughout the year. This is a perfect opportunity to learn about others from different cultures and backgrounds as well as help these families build their confidence in their English skills. Along with Family Talk Time, our Computer Literacy class is offered in the mornings on Tuesdays to improve the computer skills of parents at Bailey Gatzert. We ask that volunteers commit to the ten-week cycle in order to build relationships with participants.  Learn more about this opportunity on ConnectSU:

A volunteer helping on a language exercise

Conversation Partners

New this year as part of Family Talk Time, we will be starting Conversation Partner Fridays where Gatzert parents can get one-on-one assistance on topics specific to them with an emphasis on job search. Volunteers are needed to help writing and editing resumes, searching for jobs, filling out applications, and more. We ask that volunteers commit to the ten-week cycle in order to build relationships with participants.  Learn more about this opportunity on ConnectSU:

A volunteer helping on a language exercise.

Bailey Bears Read at Home

Three times a year, the Family Engagement team distributes literacy kits for students in pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade at Bailey Gatzert. There are nearly 150 students each receiving their own special kits that include dictionaries in their home languages and books specific to their reading level. With each kid getting at least 5 books per distribution, that’s a lot of books to sort through. We greatly appreciate volunteers to help us pack kits.

Bailey Bears Read at Home also hosts three literacy events throughout the year where kits are distributed and young readers get to participate in a variety of engaging literacy activities. Volunteers are needed to help prepare decorations for the event, set up, and lead literacy games and activities. Sign up to join us for these events on ConnectSU.  

Learn more about the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) Family Engagement Programs Volunteer Opportunities on ConnectSU.

Seattle U Youth Initiative Family Engagement