School updates: “2-way bilingual” program; Lafayette food drive

January 14, 2009 10:03 pm
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Two local school notes, starting with an invitation from Concord Elementary, which is in South Park but is included in Seattle Public Schools‘ “West Seattle South” cluster: It’s trying to get the word out about its unique Two-Way Bilingual Program, and there’s a parent-information meeting one week from tonight. Concord PTA president Susie Clark (who is also a teacher, at Madison Middle School) explains, “The dual language program is unique in that is gives our native Spanish speakers a chance to learn reading and writing in Spanish and our native English speakers have the opportunity to learn Spanish starting in kindergarten with 30% of their day in Spanish and increasing to 70% by the time they are in 5th grade.” Susie sent along the informational brochure – it’s in two parts, here and here. Interested families are welcome to attend next week’s meeting, 6:30 pm January 21, 723 Concord Street (map). Susie is also happy to answer questions (e-mail her at

LAFAYETTE FOOD DRIVE: Lafayette Elementary is now collecting food for the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of West Seattle too – year-round, after an incredibly successful drive kicking off the new year:

More than 2,100 items were donated in what was just supposed to be the school’s annual drive – parent Amy French tells the story:

The Lafayette Elementary student council had a new idea this year while planning their annual food drive for the White Center Food Bank. They held a competition to see which class could collect the most items and kept track of the donations by teacher on a bulletin board in the front lobby. The donations quickly filled the collection barrel and started to fill the school’s front lobby. All of the classes participated, but two classes led the competition: Ms. Rollins’ class collected the most items (251) and Mr. Beal’s class (203) came in second place. Last week, the White Center Food Bank team had to make two van trips to transport all of the collected food down to their facility in White Center.

Lafayette’s student council sponsors two community service projects a year–one in winter and one in spring. James Morrison, Macy Crooks and Shelby Walker (shown in the photo above) were the student council officers in charge of promoting the drive, keeping track of how many items were brought in, and updating a bulletin board daily to monitor our success. A huge thank you to these student leaders, Mimi Armistead (staff lead for Lafayette’s student council), and to all the generous Lafayette families who donated food.

Since this effort was so successful, Lafayette is going to continue collecting food for the White Center Food Bank (with a goal of a barrel a month) for the rest of the school year.

You can help the WCFB any time by donating online (go here); our area’s other food bank, the West Seattle Food Bank, takes online donations too – go here.

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