Got some time (etc.) to help a West Seattle school?

If there’s not a student in your family right now, you might not realize how much schools run on volunteer power and donations. Right now we have requests regarding two West Seattle elementaries. First one, posted in the WSB Forums, is about Roxhill Elementary; read it here. Second one came as an official news release about West Seattle Elementary (formerly High Point), focusing on “Day of Service” volunteer projects happening on MLK Day next Monday — and beyond:

Help enhance West Seattle (formerly High Point) Elementary School!

The High Point community is experiencing rapid and exciting changes. You can be a part of ensuring that High Point ‘s local elementary school is a welcoming environment that serves the needs of its diverse student base and their families. Seattle Works and CityYear are partnering on a major project to enhance West Seattle Elementary and are looking to the West Seattle community for your support!

What will the project entail?

We will be hosting a series of volunteer projects in celebration of the MLK Day holiday – Monday, January 21 – and additional follow up projects in the spring. These projects require in kind, financial and volunteer support .

We are focused on three key areas:

1) Expanding access to play – a district special education program for preschools moved to the school this year as a result of the school closure/consolidation process . These new students do not have a place to play! Due to regulations, preschoolers are too small to legally or safely play on the equipment for the elementary students – aka the big toy. They need a “little toy”! Given the students’ age and developmental challenges, the ability for them to be able to explore the world and learn from physical activity is critical. Additionally, this play area will be available to all the neighborhood’s young children.

2) Utilizing the arts to build the school community – the current art room is formerly a computer room and is in need of resources to display art work and store art materials in order to maximize space for student performances. Given the incredible cultural diversity of the student population, participation in the arts is an especially effective way to bring students and families together.

3) Creating a more welcoming facility – many of WSE’s hallways and classrooms are painted a stark white , and navigating the school can be difficult due to poorly marked classrooms and minimal directional signage. We’ll be sprucing things up with color, murals and increased signage. We’ll also be enhancing a welcome area in the school lobby for parents who are coming to pick up their children.

How can you help?

1) Make a donation of in kind supplies for the project days – we are seeking food and beverage donations for our hard-working volunteers, including water, sodas/juices, desserts, fruit and granola/energy bars.

2) Make a financial contribution to the Little Toy – installation of the Little Toy is a $35,000 project. Thanks to the Seattle School District and Seattle Works, we have secured $15,000 to date and are requesting $15,000 from the Department of Neighborhoods. That leaves $5,000 that we need to raise to ensure this project becomes a reality. Donations of all sizes are welcome to help us meet this goal!

3) Volunteer – while most volunteer roles have already been filled, we may have spots left for those interested in joining us on one of the project days. If you would like to be involved in the project, please let us know!

If you would like to make a contribution of your time or treasure, please contact Jan Zimmerly Burrell at or 206.324.0808 x1.

Seattle Works is a 501c3 nonprofit organization accepting donations for the Little Toy; 100% of your contributions will go to the Little Toy’s construction materials. Checks can be mailed to Seattle Works – 312 1st Ave N Ste 200 Seattle , WA 98109 .

More about West Seattle Elementary

West Seattle Elementary is the newly merged school community of students from Fairmount Park and High Point Elementary Schools . Led by a dynamic and dedicated principal, Gayle Everly, West Seattle Elementary’s staff has training, experience and strategies for increasing student achievement and involving the community.

This school takes its responsibility to holistically approach academic success seriously. Serving highly diverse, multi-cultural and highly impacted populations has significant implications for instruction, student management and family involvement practices. The school houses district-wide programs that serve a continuum of children’s needs including a self-contained Special Education classroom, a Bilingual Orientation Center , Spectrum (a program for gifted students) and Head Start in the school setting. On-site YMCA before- and after-school programs round out these services by providing a safe and learning-focused extended-day environment.

The school reflects the strong cultural diversity of its neighborhood; a third of WSE’s families are English Language Learners and another third of their students are African American. Eighty-eight percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. In addition to directly supporting the children, West Seattle Elementary provides adult ELL classes and translators to ensure access for non-English speaking families. This school serves not only the students, is the heart of these immigrant families’ American experience.

About Seattle Works and CityYear

These two nonprofit organizations are both experts in bringing community members together to participate in large-scale volunteer projects that enhance our community. Learn more at and

By the way, we have a new, comprehensive list of all West Seattle schools, public and private, preschool through college, with links to their websites and maps to their locations, on our Schools page.

1 Reply to "Got some time (etc.) to help a West Seattle school?"

  • S January 15, 2008 (1:06 pm)

    I will be there. If you haven’t seen City Year in action, you will be amazed. These corps members are truly wonderful, and they have so much energy that it’s inspiring to work alongside them.

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