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Seattle University


Gaining Momentum

Written by Stacy Howard
September 23, 2011

Seattle University’s initiative to improve academic achievement for low-income children gained support with new grants by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and national retailer Target.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has committed $10 million to the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) for a program that will benefit children and families in the Yesler Terrace community. The partnership involves SHA, the College Success Foundation, Neighborhood House, Seattle University and others. Seattle is one of five cities receiving grants under the new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative.


Seattle University junior Nathan Ward provides academic support to a student at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. 

The $75,000 grant from Target supports the ongoing efforts of SU and community partners to enhance K-3rd grade reading programs at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. Specifically, the f unds will be used to  extend learning programs with a new computer lab equipped with software designed to improve English language skills and new reading materials needed in after school programs. The grant will strengthen literacy support through the creation of the “Redhawk Reading Corps,” a specially trained team of undergraduates who will be placed in classrooms to provide one-to-one and small group tutoring, as well as SU-sponsored activities focused on parent engagement. 

“We are grateful to HUD and Target for their support,” said Kent Koth, director of the Center for Service and

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The Seattle University Youth Initiative has put out its September 2011 report. SUYI Sept 2011 Update to read about all the other activities going on related to the initiative.

Community Engagement. “The grants will strengthen our work with community partnerships as part of Seattle University’s long-term commitment to enhance students’ lives.”

Seattle University launched the Youth Initiative last year as a long-term, comprehensive plan to create a pipeline of academic support for neighborhood youth. The initiative seeks to improve the academic achievement of low-income youth living in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood while strengthening the education of Seattle University students and expanding professional development opportunities for faculty and staff. 

For more information, visit SUYI.