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TAF (Technology Access Foundation) 

Description

Founded in 1996, TAF offers its programs to children in diverse neighborhoods of mostly low-income families in order to reach students disadvantaged by poverty. We work in conjunction with teachers from our partner public schools to educate elementary, middle and high school students through 3 strategically aligned programs: TechStart, STEM Up, and TAF Academy.  TAF began with 32 students. Today, we serve over 750 students each year.

Mission Statement
TAF equips students of color for success in college and life through the power of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Our programs connect learning to real life. We create partnerships that improve on existing communtiy investments, schools, facilities, and resources.
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TAF (Technology Access Foundation)
605 SW 108th St 
Seattle 
WA
98146 
(206) 725-9095 

Ms. Trish Millines Dziko 
Executive Director 

Programs

TAF (Technology Access Foundation) Programs

TAF is committed to changing the trajectory of 20,000 students of color in Washington State public schools every year by 2020 by giving youth the tools they need to excel in a technology-driven world. We have three programs:                            

TechStart
Elementary school students in public schools that host TechStart benefit from TAF’s STEM curriculum, which we teach alongside classroom teachers throughout the school year. Students design and program robots for competitions, practice basic computer programming, and more; curriculum also helps them meet math and science standards for their grade level. 

STEM Up
STEM Up is an after-school academic enrichment program that strengthens middle school students’ academic and life skills and helps them get ready for college early. Students learn advanced STEM skills like programming, robotics, video game design and more.

TAF Academy
TAF Academy is a sixth- through twelfth-grade partner school. The first Academy opened in 2008 and is co-managed through a partnership between TAF and Federal Way Public Schools. Lessons combine science, technology, engineering and math with humanities and the arts, and some are even taught by STEM professionals. 90 percent of students from TAF Academy's inaugural graduating class (2012) were accepted to one or more colleges.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Success
In 2011, our Teacher-Scientist Partnerships program, which brings STEM professionals into TAF Academy's classrooms, was honored as a winner in the national Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in STEM Education competition. TAF Academy was also honored, in 2012, as an Intel School of Distinction for excellence in middle school math education (we won that category in this national contest), and as a Washington State School of Distinction for being in the top 5% of schools statewide in terms of improvement in math and reading.

Challenge                         
The success of TechStart has surfaced dozens of teachers and multiple schools that want the program in their classrooms. We do not have the financial capacity to serve them at once, and are mindful of the fact that recruiting and training the number of co-teachers we’d need to support the expanded program needs to be done at the right pace to ensure quality.

Evaluation


The Technology Access Foundation (TAF) seeks to increase the number of people of color working as professionals in science, technology and math (STEM) industries by providing opportunities for youth of color to gain skills and education in these fields. Now in its third year, the TAF Academy (a grade 6-12 school) is a vehicle for integrating, scaling, and replicating many of the innovations TAF has tested in other programs, making them available in a public school setting to hundreds more children each year. In 2012, TAF plans to open a second academy in the Renton School District.

Use of Best Practices
The TAF Academy provides an additional 1.5 hours of math support every day for six weeks to middle school students who are struggling in math—participating students are making and sustaining significant gains. This support is provided by TAF-trained tutors, many of whom are enrolled in teacher-education programs. An additional benefit of this approach is that student-teachers gain exposure to the TAF model, growing the pool of potential teacher candidates for the Academy.

Collaboration
In partnership with the Highline Public Schools, TAF is piloting “Tech Start During the School Day”, an effort to work with teachers to integrate technology-based learning into their lesson plans and teaching approaches.

Financial Health
TAF made staff and program cuts that allowed it to weather the economic downturn. In March 2011, TAF received a $600,000 grant from Washington STEM to support the TAF Academy in Federal Way and support the launch of a second academy in Renton.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
6/10/2012 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2011 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2009 $25,000.00support general operating expenses.
10/5/2006 $50,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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