Seattle University Youth Initiative
Youth Initiative in Action

Engaging Families

  • According to research, when families are engaged in their child’s early learning experiences (for example, in child care or pre-K settings), they are more likely to be engaged in their child’s education when they enter the formal K-12 school system. Likewise, when families are engaged in their child’s formal school experiences, their children often show improved performance in all grade levels, regardless of a family’s background or socio-economic status.  Thus, parent engagement is integral to student success.

    The SUYI’s Family Engagement program works with parents of children attending pre-K-12th grade in the neighborhood assigned to attend Bailey Gatzert elementary school. Family engagement is based on the idea that engaged and informed parents will successfully support their child to reach his or her full academic potential. We recognize that parents are their children’s first teachers, and we endeavor to partner with parents, schools, and community organizations to support children in all grade levels. Our work empowers families to advocate for their children and to help guide the educational career of their children. Family Engagement includes the following programs, which are collectively referred to as Hope University:

    • Family Talk Time
    • Strengthening Families Program
    • Read Out Loud Early (ROLE) Parent Workshop Program
    • Redhawk Reading Program

    If you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more about our Family Engagement programs, contact Kirsten Gabele at or (206) 220-8569.

  • I have a great time in Family Strengthening [program] and I hope….[SUYI] will continue to offering this programs for our community!

    Parent .
  • I’m so happy to be part of Strengthening Families class. The favorite part is went parents and kids get together to share some ideas. This program is wonderful thank you!

    Parent .