Educating the Horn: FREE College Prep Workshops

EACS offers #ETH as a college preparation workshop series that assists youth in 11th and 12th grade with the college admissions process.  Workshops are staffed by volunteers who are currently enrolled at a local college or university.

A primary goal of the series is to give East African high school aged youth the opportunity to see people from their own community going to college as a way to promote a college going culture.

The “Educating the Horn” campaign aims to encourage and assist East African youth in pursuing higher education by connecting East African youth with East African college students and professionals who can help them on their college applications. The campaign will also help with career researching, professional and self-development. The campaign hopes to increase the percentage of East African youth in higher education. In the long term, I hope this increases the number of successful East African people here, but also leads to people from the diaspora going back to East African Countries to help rebuild them.


EACS Spring Break Program (April 10-14, 2017)

During Seattle Public Schools’ Spring Break, East African Community Services had the opportunity to host the Spring Break Freedom School Program. The program was held at 9:45am-2:00pm on April 10, 2017-April 14, 2017. We engaged in a lot of fun activities which included reading a book entitled “Bud, Not Buddy,” the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, R.I.P.P.E.D., and a movie day.

“Bud, Not Buddy”

The students had the opportunity to read the book Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. This book was about a young boy named Bud who is from Flint Michigan. Bud is a motherless boy who is on the run with a suitcase in hand and is a young author himself. He never knew who his dad was but his mother left behind some clues that would help him find his father.
The K-5 students and the middle school students here had an opportunity to collaborate with one another and read and complete this book during the spring break program. The students made posters describing what occurred in each chapter and presented their learning of the chapter.

The Woodland Park Zoo

The Woodland Park Zoo came and brought a snake in order for us to learn more about snakes. Every student had the opportunity to touch the snake if they wanted to and the snakes skin was compared to “feeling like a basketball” by many students. The Woodland Park Zoo also led a clay activity where each student got to first draw an environment on a piece of paper and then got to make an animal out of clay that would live in the environment they created. This activity allowed each student to express their creativity and use the information that they learned from the Woodland Park Zoo about animals into a fun art project.



Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium taught us about Sharks and gave an informative and interactive presentation and activities. The activities that the students engaged in allowed them to learn about the different types, sizes and diets of sharks and the students had the opportunity to touch real shark teeth. The students got to play games games centered around sharks. These activities allowed the students to explore a new topic and have a chance to become more knowledgeable about Sharks.




The students had the opportunity to engage in a R.I.P.P.E.D course that was taught by our K-5 Program Manager Shontia Copeland-Walton. R.I.P.P.E.D. is a exercise program that runs on the values of Resistance, Interval, Power, Plyometrics, Endurance and Diet. The program allowed the students to become active while having fun.

Movie Day: Minions

We concluded our Spring Break Program with a movie day featuring the movie “Minions” which is a spin-off of the movie “Despicable Me.” The students enjoyed this movie selection and had a fun time during Movie Day.

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.

Office Depot Group Picture resized

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