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Preschool, yoga and tax prep available at El Centro de la Raza

March 20th, 2013 at 5:50 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

El Centro de la Raza from the south. Photo by Wendi Dunlap/Beacon Hill Blog.

Kids, yoga fans and taxpayers are part of some of the upcoming and current activities at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Ave S. Read on for more information:

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Jonna Bracken is teaching yoga classes at Skin Deep Dance studio on the second floor of El Centro on Thursday evenings, from 7:00-8:15 p.m. The class is open to all levels of practitioners and is an alignment-based class. The fee is four classes for $55 or eight classes for $100, but you can try your first class for free. Questions? Contact Jonna via email at jonnayoga@gmail.com.

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The José Martí Child Development Center is currently enrolling children aged 18 months to four years old for preschool programs with a focus on dual-language education in Spanish and English and a rich multicultural program featuring age-appropriate developmental goals to prepare kids for later success in kindergarten.

Classes for kids aged 18 months through three years start on April 1. Classes for four-year-olds start on June 1.

Assistance is available to fill out applications for subsidies from the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Slots are also available for private pay families. For more information or to enroll, call 206-957-4619 or email jmcdc@elcentrodelaraza.org.

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As mentioned on this site last month, there is a free tax preparation clinic currently operating at El Centro. In addition to tax preparation, help is available for completing the FAFSA (application for student loans for college), applying for food stamps, utility assistance, free credit reports and more.

The United Way Tax Preparation program is free for anyone making under $51,000. Bring photo ID and Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, along with all wage and earnings statements and any other documents needed for tax filing.

Tax prep sessions are open at El Centro on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. (English/Spanish) and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (English/Spanish/Tagalog).


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Free tax prep help available at El Centro

February 11th, 2013 at 2:17 pm | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Unfortunately, it is tax season once again. Fortunately, United Way of King County has opened a free tax preparation site right here on Beacon Hill, at El Centro de la Raza (2524 16th Ave. S.).

In addition to tax preparation, you can also get help with completing your FAFSA (application for student loans for college), applying for food stamps, utility assistance, free credit reports and more.

The United Way Tax Preparation program is free for anyone making under $51,000. Bring photo ID and Social Security cards or Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, along with all wage and earnings statements and any other documents needed for tax filing.

The tax prep sessions are open at El Centro on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. (English/Spanish) and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (English/Spanish/Tagalog) until April 15.

Taxpayers may also file for free online if they make under $57,000 at myfreetaxes.com.


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Volunteers needed for free tax prep at El Centro de la Raza

December 7th, 2012 at 2:02 am | 4 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by John Morgan via Creative Commons/Flickr.

United Way of King County is currently recruiting volunteers to manage and operate free tax preparation sites in King County during the tax season in early 2013.

Volunteers will help clients complete their tax returns efficiently, to get all refunds and credits they are eligible for. Clients will also be able to sign up for public benefits, get help completing FAFSA (financial aid) applications, get their credit report, and learn about opportunities to open a savings account or invest in a savings bond.

Last year at El Centro de la Raza on North Beacon Hill, volunteers helped 604 households file returns, which resulted in $967,992 in refunds returned to the community.

United Way is still looking for volunteers at the El Centro de la Raza tax site. Each volunteer is asked to commit to training (provided by United Way) and a 4-hour weekly shift. Speakers of Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali, Korean, Amharic, Cambodian and Russian are encouraged to volunteer. For more information or to register,

For complete descriptions or to register, go here.


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Busy times ahead at El Centro de la Raza

February 23rd, 2010 at 5:39 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Making tamales. Photo by Noema of Intercultura y Cocina, via Creative Commons.

El Centro de la Raza has a lot going on in upcoming weeks at their building at 2524 16th Avenue South, including cooking and language classes, free tax prep, and electronics recycling.

Graciela Gonzalez, El Centro’s Human Services Director, is teaching a class on making tamales. The class fee is $50, and students will be able to take home a dozen tamales along with the recipe. Each class is limited to six students. The class dates are Saturday, March 20, from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm, or Saturday, April 17, also from 10:00 to 12:30. Sign up at Brown Paper Tickets.

El Centro’s conversational Spanish classes will begin on Monday, April 5, and will continue on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm until June 9. Students will be able to learn Spanish with other adults in a relaxed, yet professional setting. The class fee is $300. Here is the registration form.

All proceeds from these classes go to support El Centro’s human service, child and youth, and education and skill-building programs.

As we wrote in January, United Way of King County is providing free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers at El Centro. Tax assistance is provided in English and Spanish by volunteers who are trained and certified by the IRS. The free tax prep services will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm until April 15.

Those eligible for the free service include anyone whose household made less than $50,000 in 2009, and who is filing a basic tax return only (no rental income, business taxes, or sale of property or stock).

Lastly, El Centro has joined up with Cartridges for Kids to collect used electronics. Cartridges for Kids recycles the used goods, and then gives a
small donation to El Centro. You can contribute old iPods, cell
phones, video game consoles, printer cartridges, digital cameras, DVDs, and more.

The Cartridges for Kids box is in room 304, on the top floor of the El Centro building at 2524 16th Avenue South. If you have a large amount of stuff to drop off, or if you are unable to come up to the top floor for medical reasons, please call Elliott Jones at 206-957-4652 to work out the logistics.


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Tax prep services and financial literacy classes coming to El Centro

January 6th, 2010 at 6:30 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

It's that time of year again! Photo by Alan Cleaver.

El Centro de la Raza has some useful finance-related services coming up over the next couple of months.

They are a United Way Free Tax Prep Campaign site, and will be providing free tax preparation services to low-income taxpayers, in English and Spanish. The free tax prep services will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm, starting January 12 and running until April 15, at El Centro, 2524 16th Avenue South.

Volunteers are also welcome for the tax prep services. To volunteer, please call (206) 957-4602 or email volunteer@elcentrodelaraza.org.

El Centro is also offering a series of financial literacy classes in English and Spanish. In the Credit Smart courses, students will learn about how to make an individual financial plan, why we use banks and their services, how to choose and keep a checking account, what your rights are as a consumer, and other important skills and knowledge.

Wednesday classes are in English, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm.  The Saturday class is in Spanish from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The English classes are a series of four classes; the Spanish classes combine the entire series into a single all-day session.

The English-language class series runs weekly, beginning on January 13 and again on February 10 and March 10. The Spanish-language courses this month are on January 16 and 30, and will also be offered on February 6, 20, and 27, and on March 6, 13, and 20.

For additional information or to register for the series, contact Simona Alvarez, Financial Literacy Coordinator, at 206-957-4610 or email homeownership@elcentrodelaraza.org.


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