Mid Winter Break @EACS (Feb 21-24 2017)

Black History Month
Mid Winter Break Program/Freedom School

During Seattle Public School’s Mid-Winter Break, EACS decided to have our first ever Black History Month Mid-Winter Break Program. We adapted this Mid Winter Break program based on the Freedom School curriculum. This program allowed an opportunity for the children to be able to continue learning and engage in enrichment activities during a week that they didn’t have school. We featured a lot of fun and enriching activities that the kids participated in that allowed them to not only learn but have fun while they learn. The program was at 9:45am-2:00pm on February 21-24, 2017. Here were some of the things we did during the week:


We started every day with Harambee, which is Swahili for “all pull together” and is how Freedom School staff begin their day with the students. What we did with the kids was, we incorporated chants and singing that allowed us to get the kids excited to begin their day and have a chance for every child in the program to come together as one.

Daily Literacy Curriculum

For the weeklong program, we incorporated a daily literacy curriculum based on the books of the Somali Bilingual Book Project from the Minnesota Humanities Center in collaboration with the Minnesota Somali Community. The students were able to read four traditional Somali folktales in both English and Somali. Most of our students are Somali so it was such a great way for the kids to read these books from their cultural roots. We also centered activities around these books so that the kids could engage in the stories. Here is a picture of the books (above) we read.

D.E.A.R. Time

(Drop Everything and Read)

We had the kids have an opportunity to read everyday by themselves in order to practice their reading skills. We did this everyday in order to promote reading.

Woodland Park Zoo

We had the Up CLOSE Woodland Park Zoo Animal Outreach Program come and brought animals here at EACS to show the kids. This program is designed to accommodate various age groups and allows for an opportunity to bring the zoo to us. We wanted to get the students excited about animals in the world. Some of the animals that we saw were turtles, tarantulas, geckos, and egyptian tortoises.

Southgate Roller Rink

We had a field trip to the Southgate Roller Rink,  a roller skating rink located in White Center. It allowed the kids to be able to have fun and practice their skating skills. There were races and competitions at the roller rink that allowed the kids to bond and have fun together.


R.I.P.P.E.D. is a fitness program that encompasses all aspects of physical fitness which stands for Resistance, Interval, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance and Diet. Our K-5 Program manager Shontia Copeland-Walton is a exercise instructor for R.I.P.P.E.D. She made a kid friendly version for our students. The kids had fun working up a sweat!

Movie Day/Pajama Day

We also watched the movie, Hidden Figures on the last day of the program with a Pajama Day. It was a fun way to end the program that allowed us to learn more about Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. The students learned that there were three black women who worked at NASA that served as the brains behinds the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit which turned around the Space Race.

Afternoon Harambee

Not only did we begin our day with Harambee but we ended with it as well. Here is a link to a clip of the kids doing Harambee below.



More Pictures from MidWinter Break here:



East African children born to refugee and immigrant parents face particularly unique challenges in the United States. The children are caught between communities, struggling to negotiate their cultural, linguistic, and religious identities; they are neither fully tied to long-held traditions from home, nor fully integrated into the culture of their American peers. As a result, many East African youth struggle with feelings of disconnect and social isolation.

Many East African children whose parents immigrated to the United States seeking asylum have major gaps in their education from spent fleeing persecution in their home countries, enduring long-stays in under-equipped refugee camps, and adapting to new school systems in the United States. While they require more assistance, unfortunately, East African-born parents remain ill-equipped to navigate the complex landscape of core coursework, credit requirements, and standardized testing to safeguard their children’s academic success.

EACS a Recipient of Sackpacks from the National Backpack Program!

East African Community Services (EACS) would like to extend a special Thank You to the Office Depot Foundation for a generous donation of 200 sackpacks incl. school supplies for the K-5th students enrolled in our After School and Summer Learning Programs. The Office Depot Foundation is celebrating the National Backpack Program’s 15th year of equipping children for success at school.

This year, EACS joined the following Seattle-based sackpack recipients: Emerson Elementary, Neighborhood House, Seattle Public Schools, and Solid Ground at the Office Depot Foundation’s Back-to-School Celebration on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. Fardous Guled, RN and Prenatal Subcommittee Chair for the Somali Health Board, and Ashley Sheriff, Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for EACS, attended the event as representatives to receive the sackpack donations. Our agency and educational enrichment programs continue to be strengthened by the generosity, partnerships, and support of corporate foundations.

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EACS Featured in Photographer’s Photo Give Back Project

East African Community Services participated in KPHorizon’s Photo Give Back Project, for which the photographer, Paul Hyun Park, volunteered his professional picture-taking services to selected not-for-profit organizations and featured profiles of these agencies on his website. EACS was lucky enough to catch Park’s eye on volunteermatch.org. Visit Park’s website to view our pictures from the Summer Bash!

EACS Photo Give Back Testimonial

Summer Celebration 2015!

East African Community Services held our annual Summer Bash on Thursday, August 13th. This cookout celebrated the culmination of our Summer Learning Program. More than 250 people from the community joined the party and enjoyed bouncy houses, face painting, Henna tattoos and fun outdoor games for children and parents alike. The Summer Learning Program is a six-week academic program for 65 elementary-aged students in Southeast Seattle designed to prevent summer slide with academic instruction, cultural enrichment activities, and recreation.

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Everyone is always welcome to join the festivities.

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Students eagerly line up for burgers, chips, and fruits.

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We set up three superhero themed bouncy houses for neighborhood children to enjoy.

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Our volunteers and staff grilled beef, halal, and veggie burgers.

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We had a face painting booth for children.

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Lots of girls showed off their beautiful henna designs.

We’re Hiring!

EACS SLP Thank You Card Photo

EACS is growing. Join us in improving the well-being and quality of life of refugees and their families in King County.

  • Community Outreach Coordinator

    We are seeking a Community Outreach Coordinator to welcome, engage, and empower our community. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude and collaborative spirit, and be a great motivator and advocate for East African youth and their families.

    Note: Candidates for this role must be Somali and English speaking.

  • Director of Education

    We are seeking an energetic, forward-thinking Director of Education to lead the growth of our youth development and education programs. The ideal candidate will have a positive attitude and collaborative spirit, and be a great motivator and advocate for East African youth and their families.

See all our job postings on Idealist at http://www.idealist.org/view/org/TSxhsc4TMtBD/.


Nordstrom emloyees care about East African Community Services

Last Friday, September 20th, 2013 East African Community Services hosted a United Way Day of Caring. Nearly twenty Nordstrom employees left the comfort of their desks, trading in their keyboards for shovels, and  desk phones for paint, in order to clean, organize, decorate, weed, and harvest at the EACS office and community garden.


The morning kicked off with pastries generously donated by Columbia City Bakery. After harnessing their sugar buzz the volunteers set off to work, one team taking on the community garden, another sizing up the supply closet.

Volunteers dig into pastries donated by Columbia City Bakery before digging into the garden.

Volunteers dig into pastries donated by Columbia City Bakery before digging into the garden.

Whether they were inside the office or outside in the garden both teams got their hands dirty to help EACS.


In the garden volunteers dug deep to remove a summer’s worth of weeds. They also pruned plants, harvested vegetables, and uncovered and re-arranged rocks painted by participants in this year’s Summer Learning Program.

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Work begins in the EACS community garden.

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The finished product, no weeds and plenty of room for fall planting!














Inside the rest of the volunteers organized EACS’s supply closet, discovering a wealth of goodies to use in our upcoming After School Program. The volunteers also channeled their creativity, decorating the EACS computer lab and setting up activity stations to make the space more welcoming and interactive for our youth program participants. Come check it out!


We would like to extend a very special thank you to everyone from Nordstrom who volunteered and to United Way for making it happen. Thank you!

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Our wonderful group of Nordstrom volunteers pose beneath their “hand” crafted rainbow in the EACS office.