Category Archives: Education

Orca Reading Club welcomes Beacon Hill kids

Neighborhood kids are invited to take part in the Orca Reading Club at the Beacon Hill and Columbia City libraries. All kids are welcome; it’s not limited to Orca students. Books will be provided, and students will work toward prices including books and entries into a raffle for lunch with Mayor McGinn.

Upcoming reading club meetings are scheduled for:

  • July 19, 10-11:30 a.m., Beacon Hill Library
  • July 30, 6-7:30 p.m., Columbia City Library
  • August 16, 10-11:30 a.m., Beacon Hill Library
  • August 27, 6-7:30 p.m., Columbia City Library

Cleveland HS to dedicate library to teacher known as “Mr. Cleveland”

Edward Landon.
Edward Landon.
Cleveland High School students and alumni will gather on Saturday, June 29, at 11 a.m. for a ceremony officially dedicating the school’s library to the late Edward Landon, who spent his entire career (1948-1973) teaching history and coaching football, basketball and baseball at Cleveland. Landon’s 4-year-old great-grandson, Dilon Hagedorn, will unveil the plaque honoring his great-grandfather, who died on January 15, 2013, aged 98. The event will take place at 11 a.m. on the second floor of the main building.

Landon, a World War II veteran and former minor-league pitcher, was known by the nickname “Mr. Cleveland” for his dedication to his students. He wrote the first Seattle Public Schools curriculum on African-American history, as part of which he invited members of Seattle’s Black Panthers to sit in on his history lectures and provide feedback.

Landon was previously honored by a scholarship fund in his name, managed by the school’s alumni association. Donations may be sent to Ed Landon Scholarship Fund, Cleveland High School Alumni Association, PO Box 94004, Seattle, WA 98124-9404.

Kids’ summer reading club starts 6/18

Children’s books photo by Svadilfari via Creative Commons/Flickr.
Kids need something to do this summer? Neighbor Dayna writes to tell us about a summer reading club that kicks off tomorrow, June 18:

A few Orca K8 parents have started a summer reading club that will meet in both the Beacon Hill and Columbia City Libraries over the summer. Schedule is below. Meeting times will be in both the morning and evening, 2 times a month. Our primary goal is to provide a space for friends — old and new — to gather and read together!! Our secondary goal is to provide a place for Orca parents to read with kids who may be struggling and will benefit from extra summer reading help. The Reading Club is not officially sponsored by Orca K-8 or by the Seattle Public Library. We are just a few moms of Orca kids who love reading, and love our children. Many of us have spent time in the classroom reading with our kids’ classmates, and we want to continue supporting them throughout the summer. We also want to keep up the culture of reading that our fabulous Orca educators have instilled in our kids!

What will we do?

Since the moms starting the reading club are moms of incoming 2nd graders, many of the readers will be that age. However, older and younger siblings will also be there, all reading together. Students will be reading together in groups or by themselves, and Orca parents will be there to help emerging readers. We will keep track of the books we read on the SPL Summer Reading program chart, and after 10 books the library will give us a prize! Prizes from SPL will include a book and entries into a raffle for a lunch with the mayor! All kids are welcome, from all schools and all grades. Please join us, and spread the word!

The reading club meeting schedule is:

  • June 18th, 6-7:30 pm, Columbia City Library
  • June 28th, 10-11:30 am, Beacon Hill Library
  • July 19th, 10-11:30 am, Beacon Hill Library
  • July 30th, 6-7:30 pm, Columbia City Library
  • August 16th, 10-11:30 am, Beacon Hill Library
  • August 27th 6-7:30 pm, Columbia City Library

Questions? Email Dayna (mom of an incoming Orca Kindergartener and 2nd grader) at
Also, see our blog.

Pedestrian safety project kicks off at Asa Mercer Middle School

Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
Safe Kids Seattle, the Seattle Department of Transportation, Feet First and FedEx are starting a year-long partnership with Beacon Hill’s Asa Mercer Middle School, with a goal of improving safety and conditions for pedestrians in the area around the school. The kickoff event for this program is tonight (June 6) at 6 p.m., during the Sixth Grade Parent Welcome Night at Asa Mercer Middle School, 1600 S. Columbian Way.

As part of the project, FedEx is presenting the Safe Kids task force with a grant of $25,000 for work throughout the upcoming year to improve permanent walking conditions for child pedestrians in the Asa Mercer community. The task force will create both environmental changes in the area, and educational campaigns to increase pedestrian awareness.

Chorus brings Canto to Cleveland HS

Canto General---web graphicThe Seattle Peace Chorus will perform “Canto@Cleveland,” featuring the Canto General by Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda and renowned Greek composer Mikis Teodorakis, at Cleveland High School (5511 15th Ave. S.) on Saturday, June 8, at 7:30 p.m. The event will also include a poetry reading by a Chilean Mapuche poet accompanied by an Andean pipe player.

The chorus does not normally perform at high schools, but chose Cleveland for one of their two performances of Canto General due to the school’s renovated auditorium and location in a diverse vibrant neighborhood. One hundred free tickets are available through the school for Cleveland students. Other student tickets are $5 and tickets for Cleveland parents are $10. These are available at Cleveland on the night of the concert. Advance tickets for others are $20 ($18 for students, seniors, and disabled) and can be purchased from a Seattle Peace Chorus member, online through Brown Paper Tickets, or by calling 800-838-3006. Adult tickets for $25 can be purchased at the door.

Proceeds from tickets and a free-will collection at the concert will benefit the Cleveland High School music program.

Advance tickets for either concert are $20 and $18 for seniors. They can be purchased from a Seattle Peace Chorus member or at or by calling 800-838-3006. Adult tickets for $25 can be purchased at the door at either concert.

The Seattle Peace Chorus will also perform the Canto General at Town Hall (1119 8th Ave) on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m. This show will also benefit Cleveland’s music program. As with the Cleveland show, advance tickets may be purchased from a Seattle Peace Chorus member, online through Brown Paper Tickets, or by calling 800-838-3006.

6/8: Buy or sell to benefit BHIS at the Beacon Bazaar

Save the date for the 8th Annual Beacon Bazaar, coming up on Saturday, June 8, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in front of Beacon Hill International School at 2025 14th Ave. S. The Bazaar is an event with community vendors selling goods and food to benefit the Beacon Hill International School PTA. Items available will include crafts, homemade tamales and baked goods, clothing, toys, books, organic veggie starts, and more.

All are invited to attend. If you want to sell at the Bazaar, tables are $30. You can keep your earnings, or donate all or part to the PTA. Here’s the flyer for vendors (we had to grab it from the Google cache because of problems with the BHIS website, but it should still work for now). If the link doesn’t work or you need more information, contact Beacon Bazaar Coordinator Mike Almquist at 206-619-5278 or

The event will happen rain or shine; if we get some of that liquid sunshine, the Bazaar will move to the BHIS gym.

Celebrate the arts at the Franklin High School Arts Festival

Lion dancer photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lowry.
Lion dancer photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lowry.
Elizabeth Lowry, co-chair of the Franklin High School Arts Festival, sends this announcement:

Imagination. Swagger. Creativity. Culture. Intensity. Irony. Empathy. Everything comes together in the visual art and performances that Franklin High School students will present this week during the school’s yearly arts festival and talent show.

“The Mt. Baker Quakermaker Shaker” is the theme of this year’s festival, which begins with an art opening at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 16, at Mioposto, 3601 S. McClellan St. The FHS talent show is the main attraction Friday, May 17, starting at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium, 3013 S. Mount Baker Blvd. The arts festival will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, on the plaza in front of FHS.

The events, which are open to the public, bring together students, their families, teachers and staff and Mount Baker neighbors. The festival raises money to benefit Franklin’s art, drama and music programs and student clubs, while the talent show raises money for the senior class of 2015. Tickets to the talent show are $3 for FHS students and $5 for others. The art opening and the arts festival are free.

The festival will feature student performances, including the steel drum band, fashion club, jazz band, Quaker band and lion dancers, along with displays of visual art, ceramics and wood arts. Student clubs will sell heirloom tomato and vegetable plants, treats and handmade crafts. Also for sale are woodcrafts, such as cutting boards, created by students and notecards featuring student art. Vietnamese sandwiches, chips and soft drinks also will be for sale. 

The arts festival is sponsored by the Franklin High School PTSA and the Franklin High student body.

For details and updates, find us on Facebook, check, or email

Canning Connections invites you to pickle asparagus, garlic

Asparagus photo by Wendi Dunlap.
This month’s Canning Connection session on April 23 will focus on a favorite spring vegetable. Canning Connection’s Christina Olson writes:

Having explored sweetness at last month’s Canning Connections, we do a big turn to tartness for our April 23 session.

We’ll be putting up pickled asparagus, so appreciated later on when fresh young shoots are no longer in the markets. To complement those spears, we’ll experiment with pickling garlic. Will it be the recipe for Chinese, French, Korean or another variety of pickled garlic? Both of these pickles make great gifts.

This session is open to those who have taken our beginner class, or those who have experience with water bath canning. Class is held Tuesday, April 23, 7-9 p.m. at the Garden House (2336 15th Ave S.) Cost is $15 and includes everything but your apron. Register online at

Spanish language and tamale classes coming to El Centro

Tamales photo by iotae via Creative Commons/Flickr.
El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave. S.) is offering Spanish language and tamale-making classes in the next few weeks. Class fees will help support the programs and services that El Centro offers.

Spanish language classes start on Tuesday, April 16, and run until June 20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7 p.m. They are taught by professional native speakers in an interactive, community-based setting. Levels from beginner through intermediate are available. The tuition fee is $300. For more information, call 206-957-4605 or email

The regular tamale-making class returns on Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Students will learn how to make traditional authentic pork tamales. Tuition of $75 includes the recipe and a dozen uncooked tamales. For more information, call 206-957-4611 or email

Seattle Central exploring possibility of moving some programs into Pac Med

Seattle Central Community College is proposing locating its Allied Health programs in Pacific Tower, the former hospital and Amazon headquarters building more commonly known as PacMed. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.
New life may be coming to the mostly vacant PacMed building (Pacific Tower) on the northern tip of Beacon Hill. A neighbor at Seattle Central Community College forwarded us this memo from college President Paul T. Killpatrick:

As some of you may have heard, Seattle Community Colleges has been approached by area legislators and community members to consider leasing a portion of Pacific Tower on Beacon Hill. The Tower currently houses the Pacific Medical Center Beacon Hill Clinic on the first floor. The upper floors, formerly occupied by Amazon headquarters, are now empty. Initially, the District considered creating a district-wide program for the PacMed facility. When that did not look feasible, Seattle Central suggested consolidating our growing Allied Health programs in the Tower.

The College has proposed remodeling between 86,000 and 106,000 square feet of the Pacific Tower to house the College’s Allied Health programs, including Dental Hygiene, Nursing, Respiratory, Surgical Technology, and Opticianry. Renovation cost of the Pacific Tower is estimated to be approximately $27 million and the legislators have indicated they will seek funding for the lease and the renovations needed. Vacated space in our current buildings will be remodeled for much needed additional classrooms.

The Pacific Medical Center has expressed an interest in working with Seattle Central Community College to offer clinical training opportunities for Seattle Central’s Allied Health students at the Pacific Medical Beacon Hill Center and at eight other PacMed clinics in the region. Several other complimentary agencies and programs have also expressed interest in joining Seattle Central Community College to lease the remaining space in the Pacific Tower. These agencies include the Cross Cultural Health Program, NeighborCare, Neighborhood House, Philanthropy Northwest, 501 Commons, and Fare Start.

While this is an exciting opportunity for Seattle Central Community College, everything is contingent upon the Legislature approving the capital funding for this project. In addition, many details have yet to be worked out as this project involves several different agencies and partners. We will update the campus community with more information as it becomes available.

This is an interesting possibility for the much-loved landmark building, and for students at Seattle Central. The Allied Health program is a good fit with the historic and current uses of the building. Stay tuned for more information on this project.