Turning Point Seattle Programs
At Turning Point, youth work with adult role models to learn team skills & leadership skills, learn positive ways to resolve conflict, become empowered by serving others, and build healthy relationships.
FREE after-school program offering homework support and tutoring
Tuesdays & Thursdays from 3:30-5 @ Meridian Park Elementary
We are so excited to be on site at Meridian Park this year! With 500 students of rich cultural diversity and over 30 languages spoken in the home, 60-70 students in ESL, and a high percentage of disadvantaged children, Meridian Park qualifies as a Title 1 school faced with some of the greatest challenges in the Shoreline District. Because the demand for additional support is growing while budgets are shrinking, we are thrilled to partner with the school community and families to support at-risk youth. Students will be identified and recommended by their teachers for our free program, and we are partnering with Lakeside High School and Washington Association of Retired Teachers to provide volunteer tutors. If you would like to invest in youth by volunteering to resource healthy kids and families in Shoreline, contact us.
Turning Point's Summer Explorers is an educational summer day camp for kids in grades 1-6. Academic activities include math, reading, science, and art projects. Kids also participate in indoor and outdoor physical games and field trips. Healthy snacks are provided. All Summer Explorers participants are welcome to come early and receive a free lunch through the Summer Lunch program.
Community Giving Garden
We cultivate a Giving Garden at Shoreline's Community Garden at Twin Ponds, partnering with Lakeside and Evergreen Schools to grow organic vegetables and herbs for HopeLink Food Bank. The Giving Garden is an extraordinary opportunity for those who love to garden to give something back to their community--helping hundreds of people living on limited incomes supplement their diets with fresh, organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables, supporting community connections and a healthier urban environment.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
It took Amy Jessee, principal of Meridian Park Elementary, less than ten minutes into our conversation to slam her hands down on the table and emphatically declare, “Yes! Done! How do we make this happen?” I had met with Jessee to discuss the possibility of moving Turning Point’s after school program on site. We were looking to more effectively serve kids in Shoreline by eliminating transportation restraints and focusing in on one of the district’s neediest schools. Principal Jessee had been trying to solve an impossible problem – how to meet the growing need for tutoring and homework support with fewer resources and overworked teachers. I was the bright spot in her day. Help was on the way.
Without the gifted program, 50% of students at Meridian Park are eligible for free and reduced lunches. This high percentage of disadvantaged children makes Meridian Park a Title 1 school faced with some of the greatest challenges in the Shoreline District. With 500 students of rich cultural diversity and over 30 languages spoken in the home and 60-70 students in ESL, the demand for additional support is growing while budgets are shrinking. In addition, the percentage of kids that go home alone is growing. This is true locally and across the nation. In fact, each day in America, some 15 million children - some as young as five years old - are without supervision at home or on the streets. The need is abundantly clear.
Since we started Homework Factory this fall on site at Meridian Park Elementary, we have had an overwhelming response, with 35 kids enrolled and more on the waiting list. All of our students have been identified by teachers as needing tutoring because of their language barriers, low skills or behavioral concerns. The need has been great with many who are struggling to read and to remain on task, as well as the challenges of providing the structure and resources necessary. We quickly realized that we needed a better ratio of volunteers to students that would allow for more one-on-one tutoring, and we have been actively recruiting more help. This along with some incentive programs put into place in partnership with the school's administration have helped the improve with every week that goes by. Teachers are thrilled and we are all excited about the months ahead as we are able to drill down to improve student's reading and math skills.
However, none of this is possible without the generosity of our donors. We desperately need funding to keep this this program moving forward. We are largely run by a wonderful volunteer staff but we do have a small budget that is critical to our daily operations. We hope that you will partner with us to empower youth, especially youth without access to opportunities due to economics. Invest in youth and make a difference!