Seattle University Youth Initiative Gains Momentum

By Stacy Howard

Seattle University’s initiative to improve academic achievement for low-income children living in the Bailey Gatzert/Yesler Terrace neighborhood gained support with new grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and national retailer Target.

The Seattle University Youth Initiative is a long-term campus-wide commitment by faculty, staff and students to join parents, the Seattle School District, the City of Seattle, faith communities and more than 30 community organizations to help children in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood thrive in school, attend college and succeed in life.

HUD recently announced a $10 million grant to the Seattle’s Housing Authority (SHA) for a program to benefit children and families in the Yesler Terrace community. The partnership involves SHA, the College Success Foundation, Neighborhood House, SU and others.

The $75,000 grant from Target supports the ongoing efforts of SU and other community partners to enhance K-3rd grade reading programs at Bailey Gatzert Elementary School. Funds 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. The funds will also support 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 Community Engagement. “The grants will strengthen our work with community partnerships as part of Seattle University’s long-term commitment to enhance students’ lives.”

For more information on the Seattle University Youth Initiative please visit:  


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