Our family engagement work aims to amplify and incorporate family voice at Bailey Gatzert Elementary and in the Yesler community. At the same time, we aim to support the school’s capacity to listen and respond to family feedback and needs. Some examples include:
Seattle U students play a large role in our family engagement work.
129 out of 284 Bailey Gatzert students speak more than English at home, which means that all of our work must be multi-lingual. This fall, we partnered with the Seattle Housing Authority, SU student employees, and SU faculty to identify best practices for incorporating different language access strategies.
Family Talk Time is a morning class hosted at Bailey Gatzert that combines English language learning, computer skills, and school and community navigation. Each class starts with breakfast and coffee in the Family Room, and child activities are provided for younger kiddos not yet in school
Class goals are based on the goals of the students, such as communicating with a teacher, using an Orca card, or ordering at a restaurant. Field trips, community presentations, computers, and hands on activities are regularly incorporated.
Class is hosted Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays. Coffee, breakfast, and conversation starts at 8 am and class formally runs from 8:30-10:30.
STEAM Ahead supports scholars and their families attending weekend and class day field trips including museum visits, theater events, professional sports games, and interactive family events on SU’s campus. This year’s STEAM Ahead family outings include the musical The Lion King, Cirque du Soleil, a Sounders soccer game, and an upcoming Aviation Day hosted by the Museum of Flight, among others. All outings include food and transportation.
This program also supports school day and overnight field trips for each grade level at BG. Teachers are encouraged to plan collaborate and plan school day educational field trips based on the topics that they are teaching in class.
Family Conversations is an 8 week evening program hosted at Bailey Gatzert fall quarter. Each week, trained facilitators guide families through topics identified by the participants. Families eat dinner together, then divide into adult and kid groups. Families come back together at the end of the evening to participate in a shared activity.
Read and Rise is an 8 week evening program for families of preschoolers and elementary age children. Each week focuses on the importance of the school to home connection, and supporting literacy in the home. Families are encouraged to think about their own experiences with education growing up, and identify ways they can support their children’s education and love of learning.
Family Engagement works directly with families, teachers and school staff, scholars, and community partners to support Bailey Gatzert’s current focus on literacy, which includes:
- Books and literacy materials sent home with PreK, Kinder and 1st graders
- Quarterly literacy events and activities, hosted in partnership with Seattle Public Library and Bailey Gatzert School
- The formation of a Lit Club, a group of parents and caregivers who are interested in collaborating with teachers to identify books to send home with scholars
- Direct collaboration with a faculty from the College of Education who teaches and researches effective practices for engaging multi-lingual families with literacy learning
This effort combines our work on campus and our work in the community. Each holiday season, the family engagement team coordinates food and gift donations from SU students, staff, and faculty. University departments such as Athletics support the effort. Food donations and gifts are delivered to schools and community organizations in the SUYI neighborhood. In 2018, we collected over 2,000 donated food items and 114 new toys to be distributed to kiddos in the community.
Learn more about the Seattle University Youth Initiative (SUYI) Family Engagement Programs Volunteer Opportunities on ConnectSU