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In our last blog titled “Same Values, New Beginnings,” we shared the wonderful news that we had begun developing a virtual youth tutoring program to help increase High Point youths’ access to after-school, virtual learning spaces. We also discussed that this endeavor to build a neighborhood tutoring program is thanks to a King County Best Start for Kids initiative, which allows us to develop needs-based programming for community members of all ages at High Point and DNDA affordable housing properties.

As an update, we want to share that in the few months of the program’s development, things have gone exceedingly well. Since late September, a small group of High Point students have attended online tutoring sessions and have been able to receive homework support thanks to an early cohort of dedicated volunteers. As these sessions were taking place, DNDA began networking with local institutions to increase the program’s impact in our community.

One such institution was the University of Washington’s Community Engagement & Leadership Education Center (CELE). By partnering with local schools and non-profit organizations, CELE connects UW students enrolled in community-engaged courses with community-based organizations for an academic quarter. Service-learning students make a commitment to serve in roles designed by host organizations to address a community-defined need (e.g., tutoring), and host organizations work with their service-learning students to augment learning experiences beneficial to their professional and educational growth as future public service leaders.

By the end of 2020, the CELE approved DNDA as a host organization. Since then, we created opportunities for interested UW students to serve as “Family-Focused Academic Tutors,” the title signifying a close connection between the project’s effort to use a family-based lens when working with High Point students to support academic learning. This means that in addition to our early cohort of volunteers, DNDA will be able to double the availability of tutoring to High Point students from two-days-per-week to four-days-per-week, and we could not be happier. Big thanks to our partners at UW and King County.

The full rollout of our newly adapted program begins this week. As always, we will continue to update you in coming weeks. If you have not already, please subscribe to our mailing list to receive bi-weekly updates on DNDA’s full array of programs and events!