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Youth in Focus Classes Empower Teens – Sign Up by 2/28
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Submitted by Jacob Smithers

Like the majority of the youth that attend Youth in Focus classes, Hannah, a 15-year-old at Renton High School, has found empowerment, confidence and a voice through her photography. Hannah’s personal growth can be seen in her images and understood in her words, but most of all, she has found a positive community in which she can share her world.

Youth in Focus has been serving the community for 20 years, by providing cameras and classes to over 3,000 at-risk youth and allowing them an opportunity to express themselves through a camera lens. “Being a teenager is like riding a roller-coaster; thousands of feelings and emotions,” Hannah said. “I came into Youth in Focus wanting to let them out by telling a story with my pictures. Not knowing what it was going to be like, I picked up my camera and shot my life. I started to learn more and more about photography, and each photo had more and more thought put into it. To me photography helps get out everything you want to say with the click of a button.”

Youth in Focus priority deadline is February 28th for the Spring Quarter taking place March 28th-May 30th. Youth 13-19 years old may apply...

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Morning Sickness Cures for Any Time of Day
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Submitted by Alan Lloyd

As a health care provider in South Seattle, I see women who are pregnant coming in for nausea and sometimes vomiting, commonly called Morning Sickness. Frequently, the vomiting occurs in the morning hours, but can occur at any time. As most of the women I see are very busy, I thought I’d provide some background information and self-care tips.


Nausea on its own or accompanied by vomiting is thought to occur in half of all pregnancies, between the 6th and 16th week. It can also reappear in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Intensity depends on fatigue and eating habits, though women are often eating minimally. The real concern is that persistent vomiting can lead to dehydration. Warning signs of dehydration include scanty urination and a positive ketone urinary test. If there is concern about dehydration, the woman should consult their physician or midwife.

Natural Self Care for Nausea and Vomiting:

I find that woman receive little support at this time. The reality is that there are varying experiences of morning sickness, and that there is no normal that they need to compare themselves with. Symptoms are varied,...

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Christmas Ships Arrive in the Southend Today
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The “Christmas Ship”, “Holiday Boat Parade” or “Christmas Ship Festival” whatever you call it, “tis the season” and it is a nice event to enjoy with friends and family. My kids loved the boat parade, bonfire and refreshments and looked forward to this event every year since age two. They continue to look forward to it as young adults. We would park at Pritchard Beach, head over to Maya’s for dinner or fried ice cream-(yum!) and return to the Pritchard Beach in time for the arrival of the boats. Performances in the Southend are tonight: 7:50-8:10 Pritchard Beach Park, and 8:25-8:45 Seward Park.

Seattle has hosted a parade of boats for more than 60 years. The first boat parade, the “Seattle Civic Christmas Ship Festival’ was organized by the Seattle Parks Department in 1949. Parks coordinated the parade until 1994 when Argosy Cruises took over the event. The Argosy Ship is the large lighted white boat that floats on local waterways with a Choir on board, from early December until December 23. Upon arrival, the boats line...

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Boot Camp Embraced by 13th Year Scholars
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By Kevin Maloney, South Seattle Community College

To most people, the idea of a summer boot camp is not particularly appealing. But at the boot camp graduation ceremony held last week, it was clear that South Seattle Community College’s incoming 13th-Year Scholars are not like most people. With 94 participants, a record for the boot camp program, the 13th-Year Scholars are truly outstanding.

The 13th-Year Scholarship guarantees one-year of free tuition for all graduates from Chief Sealth International High School and Cleveland High School at South, regardless of grade point average and family income. Fifty-percent of students said that if it were not for the privately funded 13th-Year Scholarship, they would not be able to attend college. One student who can identify with that statistic is incoming freshman and boot camp participant, Cristian Clemente.

“If it weren’t for the 13th-Year Scholarship, I would not be able to afford college,” Clemente explained. “I like the fact that this community is encouraging us to do well and has made an investment in our education. Now, I need to take advantage of this opportunity and make the best of it.”

In addition to the...

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How Loaded is Your Kid?
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Getting kids back to school is busy enough but these simple tips can help your kids avoid back pain. My soon-to-be 3rd grader does not have text books yet, but good to keep in mind what makes for a good backpack. I have seen a few kids with wheeled bags, but I imagine by middle school that will be way un-cool. What about having two books, one for home and one for school?

• Is the backpack the correct size for your child? The backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

• Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps? Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but also they can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.

• Does your child use both straps? Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture.

• Are the shoulder straps adjustable? The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s...

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Gestational Diabetes: Surprising Cause & How We Can Help
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“Awwww….Sugar, Sugar! Honey, Honey! You are my candy girl….”

These lyrics made popular by the band The Archies about a million years ago come to mind in today’s pregnancy and birth climate. Soaring costs associated with caring for mothers with Gestational Diabetes, and the babies they birth, have Medicare and a variety of providers searching for preventative tools to share with expecting mothers.

It is not enough just to tell a woman to “eat well and exercise more” at any time in her life, but certainly not during pregnancy, when eating for two does not mean eating twice the calories as much as it does packing each spoonful with nutrition that serves to promote the health and well-being of mother and baby. There are myriad of issues in connecting moms to great nutritious bites: the cost of food, access to fresh organic produce, knowing how to prepare it, cultural norms, and for many just getting used to the taste of non-processed foods is a challenge.

There is the additional shift in just how much whole organic fresh food it takes to serve the body. For example, 30 calories of spinach does a lot more than 300 calories of a snickers bar. It takes fewer bites, and it...

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Love is Spoken Here: Cultural Competency in Maternity Care 98118
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There are at least 49 documented languages spoken in our little zip code, which has the reputation of being one of the most diverse run of city blocks in the entire country. I love to walk early on Saturday mornings down Rainier Avenue from Columbia City to Rainier Beach High School. It is an incredible testament to the many colors and cultures that compose our little world here. I never fail to see something totally new and unexpected.

In the other world I live in—that of maternity care and research, best practice, and the wonder and trials of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum time—there is a lot of buzz about the way health care providers are interacting with a diverse population of clients and patients. The phrase being bantered about and lobbed from one end of the waiting room to the other is, “cultural competency”. I’ve sat in a lot of workshops and conferences over the past months where one presenter after another makes a case for this type of care. As a white woman who grew up in a mostly white neighborhood, I always have a lot to learn. I acquired the vocabulary, learned some key phrases, role-played, and took copious notes.

Outside of the stable controlled environment of the classroom...

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Sign On
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I love babies and I love talking and having conversations. Trouble is, babies can’t talk. They may be skilled at listening and taking in information, but they can’t tell a story, share their feelings, desires, thoughts or ask questions with words. Except that they actually can.

Many babies learn how to say “hi” and “bye” before they can sequence the complex motor movements that are required for speech. Adults teach them how to wave one hand. Babies can express the word “no” before they can talk, too. Instead of saying it with their mouths and vocal mechanism, they learn to shake their heads, often vigorously and with great emphasis.

Thirty years ago, researchers at the University of California at Davis, my beloved alma mater, began looking at symbolic gestures (or signs) and what happens when they are taught to babies. The results were and continue to be exciting. Exposing children who can hear to sign language vocabulary decreases temper tantrums, increases connection with caregivers, heightens vocabulary development, and has a long lasting impact on school success.

Ever since I interned in the toddler classroom at UC Davis, I have been hooked on the power of signing with babies....

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Daily Cure for Southend Dogs
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When Craig comes home from work, he opens the door, and before greeting me, he first gives attention to our beloved companion dog, Golda, who awaits him every day. After setting down his shoulder bag he puts on a rubber dog-grooming glove, and with all the care of a skilled masseuse he gives her a vigorous skin brushing. The glove is dimpled, similar to those old-style doormats that are emblazoned with the word “welcome. Should Craig be distracted momentarily from this duty when he arrives home, Golda follows him around the house, nudging him with her nose as a gentle reminder that he has a job to do. When he gets down on the floor with her, he makes sure to brush not just her torso but each armpit and leg too.

It’s this act of doggie daily self-cure (and her daily raw chicken liver with kibble) that I believe has kept our arthritic Golda on her paws. It’s also an act of daily self-cure I personally partake in because in both humans and animals alike, skin brushing stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation. For an old dog like Golda who is no longer active, and cannot scratch or self-groom, this kind of friction massage is very therapeutic.

In all the seventeen years she has lived with us, veterinarian...

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The Story of Seward Park’s Torii
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By Paul Talbert, president of the Friends of Seward Park and Torii Project Chair

In 1934, Seattle revived the Golden Potlatch celebration (the ancestor of today’s Seafair) that had been suspended by World War I. While the pre-war Potlatches celebrated the wealth of the Klondike Gold Rush, the 1934 celebration billed itself as the International Potlatch, promoting international trade. The Potlatch committee was eager to involve the Japanese community to help promote Seattle as the “Gateway to the Orient”. The Seattle Japanese Chamber of Commerce welcomed a chance to participate, creating a float and providing Japanese folk dancers. They also sponsored a torii (Shinto gate) that was displayed on University Street between 4th and 5th Avenues in “Orient Square” (University Plaza, a former park-like median in the street).

The design sketch for the torii was made by Kichio Allen Arai (also known as A. K. Arai). For his sketch of the Potlatch torii he received $2.00. The construction of the torii was supervised by Kichisaburo Ishimitsu. Delivery of the lumber, valued at $46.71, to the “Japanese school house” suggests that the torii may have been assembled at the Japanese Language School. Ishimitsu received...

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Rigorous International Program Offered at RB High
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By Colin Pierce, IB Coordinator/ Reading Teacher
Rainier Beach High School

The landscape of education in Southeast Seattle will begin to shift dramatically in the Fall of 2013. That is when Rainier Beach High School plans to offer a new academic opportunity for students called the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. This is a high-quality educational program that is in 144 different countries and it is recognized by the world’s leading universities for teaching students “to ask challenging questions, to reflect critically, to develop research skills, and to learn how to learn.” (

The IB Diploma Program gives students a rigorous, internationally respected liberal arts education during high school, which means that by the time they enter college they already know how to learn and think critically. Studies have shown that even taking one IB course during high school drastically increases a student’s success in completing college within four years and those with the full IB Diploma have shown to have an 80% chance of completing college within 4 years. Students can also earn college credit...

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Rising Costs and Limited Space Create an Acute Need for Online Schools and Alternate Education
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Submitted special to by Brianna Meiers

Though a college education is more important than ever for Southenders as they size up 2013, it is also costlier. Studies have shown that the cost of college tuition has risen twelve-fold in the last 30 years. While higher education has always been relatively expensive, experts today argue that tuition prices are virtually unaffordable for many American families – and these financial constraints have essentially stratified the country’s academic system.

In August 2012, Bloomberg reported that college tuition and related fees have risen 1,120 percent since 1978, when colleges and universities began recording this type of data. This rate of inflation effectively dwarfs other categories of expenses. For instance, during the same period, medical costs grew by 601 percent and the price of food collectively rose by 244 percent. Furthermore, programs designed to provide students with financial assistance like loans and grants have helped certain individuals but done little to improve “systemic problems” related to college...

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Back to School with Youth Tutoring Program
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Submitted special to from Catholic Community Services

For over 90 years, Catholic Community Services (CCS) of Western Washington has offered social services to help individuals and families in need largely through the work of volunteers, including the Youth Tutoring Program (YTP) here in South Seattle. In 2010, 5,197 volunteers joined staff in making these services and resources a reality across 38 King County programs, as well as hundreds over the years in the YTP program. Now it’s your chance to get involved by volunteering to help support Southend kids through the YTP.

YTP has been offering tutoring and guidance to students in the low income/public housing neighborhoods of Rainier Vista, Rainier Beach, High Point, Jackson Park Village, Yesler Terrace, New Holly and Lake Washington Apartments with a positive and stimulating environment that promotes personal and academic growth.

One volunteer tutor said, “What I like most about YTP is interacting with my neighbors! If it weren’t for the program, I wouldn’t know these kids or parents.”

The Youth Tutoring Program,...

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20th Annual RV Heritage Parade Saturday!
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Rainier Valley Culture Fest kicks off tomorrow with the 20th Annual Rainier Valley Heritage Parade! Rainier Chamber of Commerce joins forces with Summer Streets, SeaFair, CleanScapes and literally dozens of organizations throughout the valley to produce the parade from 11:00 am to noon, and the Summer Streets Party following from 12:30 pm to 4 pm, all along Rainier Avenue in Columbia City.
There is so much happening that we can’t tell you about it all, but here are a few of our favorite things to check out:

• 120 pound, 5 foot tall robot made by Franklin High School team xbot.

• 98118’s Got Talent performances including performers from the Vietnamese American, Cambodian, American Samoa, Filipino and Japanese communities.
Live music at Hudson hosted by the Columbia City Theater and The Royal Room.

• Check out the Hip Hop Zone...

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Personal Paper Doll
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This is a fun rainy day crafty activity that has endless possibilities! I used my dog Theo since I don’t have kids, but this would be an engaging fun project to do with a bunch of kids. Make a doll of each member of the family! This is also a great idea for parties – have the kids each make their own doll of themselves to take home. These would also make a fun personalized gift to send to relatives too.

What you need-

Digital camera
Printing paper
Cardboard or cardstock
Metal brads (found at most craft stores) Glue or decoupage medium, or acrylic medium
Extra- paint, glitter, fabric ribbon or other embellishments

Getting started-

1. Either use an existing photo or take one of the person or pet you want to make a doll out of. Be sure to get the whole body in the frame. Have kids do a jumping jack or starfish pose so their arms and legs are easy to cut around. Try taking photos outside against a wall.
For animals the side view works best.

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Toothsome & Wholesome on a Budget
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I love to grocery shop. I love to cook – something I’ve been doing since I was 10 years old.  Most of all, I love to prepare and eat good food with good friends and family. And while there have been a few times in my life when I have had to avail myself of the services of my local food bank (and thank god they were there!), and even times when all I’ve had to eat were raw potatoes with no way to cook, most of my time in this life, I’ve had easy and consistent access to good food. As executive director of Rainier Valley Food Bank, I’ve made it my profession to ensure that others have equal access to nutritionally sound, high-quality foods that are familiar, easy to prepare and delicious.

Right now, we’re poised on the cusp of United Way’s annual Hunger Action Week.  This year for the first time, I’m standing in empathy and solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of my fellow Americans who rely on programs like Basic Food to feed themselves and their families by taking the Hunger Challenge.  And I’m taking my wife and teenage son along for the ride.

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Viking Rugby Offers Unique Opportunity for Southend Youth
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Submitted by the Seattle Vikings RFC

Registration for Seattle Vikings rugby ages 7 to 18 is now open, offering a unique opportunity for Southend kids. In existence since 1987, the Vikings coaching staff includes 10+ volunteer coaches and a dedicated athletic trainer, offering both a sense of teamwork and community, as well as unique opportunities to for youth to stay fit.

“We really want to reach out to kids in the southend of Seattle,” said Craig Wicks, Director of Coaching, Seattle Vikings RFC (Rugby Football Club). “We see a real opportunity for rugby to grow here as a fun sport that celebrates diversity and fair play, and brings a real sense of community to players and their families.”

The Vikings have programs for boys and girls aged 7-18, and there are already a number of kids from South Seattle on the team. Practice for the new season starts in January and runs until May. It is held at a first-class rugby field in Magnuson Park that was dedicated in 2009. The team competes against players from Bellevue, Bellingham, Olympia, Kent and other local cities.

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports for youth in the US, and will be included in the Olympics in 2016. Seattle...

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Celebrate Simplicity
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Halloween and Veteran’s Day have past, are you getting into the spirit? What spirit? The spirit of Christmas’ past and present…

The other evening I was talking with my sister on the phone. She was stressing over what to give her children for Christmas. Been there, done that and retired when my children were 6 and 10! Why? I realized that they didn’t appreciate the spirit of the season… Thanksgiving is for thanking, giving and sharing. Ditto for Christmas.
Take advantage of these economic times and set the record straight with family and friends. Let this be a time when you reflect on your good fortune and appreciate what you have. Give and share in meaningful and thoughtful ways. Celebrate simplicity. It is a movement. Remember “the reason for the season”, be it religious, or the celebration of the winter solstice or other…

Do not get caught up in the commercialism that begins with “Christmas in July” and crescendos until its grand finale the football widow’s sale on New Year’s Day. Yes, it includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and “Midnight Madness” at the malls. Plus this year’s Every Friday is Black Friday! “Been there, done that.” Enjoy the holidays....

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Holiday Memories
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One of my favorite childhood memories of the Holidays is the occasional package we would get from relatives in Holland. Inside these brown parcels, covered in elegant handwriting and colorful foreign stamps, were treats that were a delight to my sister and I. There was almost always chocolate butter and Hagel (chocolate sprinkles) which we would eat for the next month spread over hot butter toast in the morning. In addition to the chocolate, salted liquorice and “Prettige kerstdagen -Gelukkig NieuwJaar” cards from aunts and cousins, were spiced windmill shaped cookies called Speculaas. 

Though my adult pallet has changed a bit from the childhood desire for sweets, these spicy cookies always remind me of the holidays. Similar to gingerbread cookies, but flakier and more buttery they go great with tea or coffee. Thanks to the marvels of the internet you can find good recipes for these cookies, as well as places to order the real thing online, but I have found them locally in Uwajimaya as well.

The Holidays are a great time to revisit childhood treats and discover new ones! 
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Not so “Little Tyke”
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“Little Tyke,” a 350-pound lioness visited the Gibbon family in the Pritchard Beach neighborhood in 1955. A local celebrity, Little Tyke had been rescued from her violent mother at birth and raised by the Westbeau family near Auburn. Because she refused to eat meat, Little Tyke was adopted as an icon of the vegetarian movement.

Gary Gibbon (left) and David Church pose with Little Tyke above Pritchard Beach drive. Gibbon recalls introducing his cat to the larger feline: “I took my cat “Valley” over to see the lioness as she drank out of our birdbath, but Valley dug her claws into my arm and jumped away. Before they left, the owners got Little Tyke to roar by honking the horn on their truck. The lioness roared loudly and clawed deep grooves in our pear tree that we could show off for years to come. The loud roar brought neighbors to our fence to see what was going on. It was wonderful.”

This picture will be featured in our upcoming illustrated history of the Rainier Valley to be published this winter by Arcadia Publishing.

Rainier Valley Historical Society

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SE Kids Transformed to Leaders by Rainier Scholars
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Submitted by Mary Bristow, Director of Development, Rainier Scholars

It’s a story that began in 2000. That’s when Bob Hurlbut founded Rainier Scholars with the dream of developing new generations of leaders. And he believed this goal was achievable by giving minority students of limited means access to the opportunity of a lifetime—a college education.

“Rainier Scholars by design is a transformative experience,” says Gordon McHenry, Jr., executive director, about the program that serves students most underrepresented on college campuses – African American, Latino, Native American and first generation Asian Americans. “We believe one’s education, aspirations, and life possibilities need not be determined by birthright but rather by hard work and determination.”

Hurlbut chose the Rainier Valley community as home to the organization because of its proximity to such promising youth. While the program has now grown to serve 430 students from all over the Seattle area, the organization’s primary recruiting efforts remain focused on public schools serving high populations of low- income minority youth.

Every year since 2002, Rainier Scholars enrolls...

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Seniors, Youth 180 & Seahawks team-up for Senior Ball
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Members of Southeast Seattle Senior Center and teens of Youth 180 are teamed-up again!

Back during March-May of 2010, members of Southeast Seattle Senior Center and teens of Youth 180 worked together on the SESSC Mural Project, producing the beautiful mural that currently adorns the SESSC building on the corner of Rainer Ave. and Holly Street. It has become an icon that represents the Senior Center. The mural displays images of people, buildings and landmarks that are important to both generations. Now again they are working together – but this time to build props that will create formal atmosphere by for the Senior Ball, that will take place in late September. This Senior Ball Project, sponsored by the Seattle Seahawks, includes also an element playing on the “ball” idea, where seniors and youth were invited to attended a Seahawks practice session.

Youth 180 is a program operating, under the leadership of founder and director, Gabriel Ladd, who works on gang intervention. The program takes vulnerable youth and redirects them through mentorship and community involvement. The seniors of SESSC provide an array of activities for which the youth can assist. Youth 180 is named for...

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Picnic Time in the Southend!
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It’s the season, and there’s nothing like a picnic. The way to make it happen is to be prepared and “just do it”. For the past twenty years, I have always carried packed picnic baskets in the back of our cars. Our baskets are made by “Longaberger”. If you have heard of this made in the USA, “Handmade to be Handed Down” brand of baskets, you either do not own one because you think they are expensive, or you have one that you will cherish for life. I purchased our first picnic basket in 1991. I was told if you can lift it, your basket with hold it. I was sold! Shortly thereafter, I joined the company as a sales “consultant”. The baskets are handcrafted in Dresden, Ohio and made to last a lifetime. They are double woven, meaning they have two layers of wood splints, are stamped with the Longaberger logo, and signed and dated by the weaver. My basket is now 20 years old, in great shape and an investment I have never regretted.

Folks who are familiar with the baskets say, “Wow you...

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Southend Staycation
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I recently talked with my sister. They were getting more bang for the buck by making a required trip a vacation. Her husband will be working out of town this summer, so they wanted to check out the area. However, she said after paying for gas to get there, there really wasn’t money to do some of the things they wanted to do with their kids. I suggested she call a couple of hotels and find out if there are parks and other places nearby that have free or low cost activities for children. She was amazed at what the concierge shared.

The same is true in Seattle. Growing up in the area with a single parent, we took advantage of what I believe was probably every free activity this City had to offer, from swim lessons at the local beach, to “days in the country” for inner-city youth, to Vacation Bible School. I am amazed at how many of these activities still exist. The Seattle Parks’ Department still offers a variety of free programs and most local churches offer a free week-long summer bible school or camp. And, if you are concerned, your child will not be brainwashed or in need of a religious intervention after a week of bible school or camp. In fact, most will benefit from the lessons learned. Remember,...

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The search for summer activities.
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It’s almost summer-

Summer creates that seasonal need for finding temporary care for our children. Especially those who are not old enough or mature enough to stay home without supervision, and those that need occasional structure –so as not to waste away the hours or the summer with boredom that can sometimes lead to troublesome.

The time to search for summer activities for your children is now, not a couple of weeks before school is out. If you wait to the last minute, there is a very good chance you will likely not find a place or the place of your choice. To help I have a couple of suggestions from our own back yard:

I know of families that avoid day camps offered at the local community center and Boys and Girls Club. However, as a former staffer and consumer of both, I highly recommend them. They are reasonably priced, close to home and have trained and professional staff members. AND most of all, your child will love going! Locally we have two facilities that offer week-long day camps as well as drop-in programs, Seattle Parks’ Rainier Community Center, and Boys and Girls Clubs of King County’s Joel...

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