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:

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.

Volunteers in the garden_Edit

Work begins in the EACS community garden.

After shot in the garden_WOW_Edit

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!

Volunteers Under the Rainbow_Edit

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


Summer Learning Prog: a story through pictures


The 4th grade classroom during instruction time.


6th grade classroom during instruction time.

making stepping stones SLP 2013

Casey’s 5th grade students make stepping stones for the Student Organic Garden

photo for SLP_border261

Kindergarden and 1st grade students pretend to be seeds, growing up into big, tall trees during a visit from Mountains to Sound Greenway.

Elizia in garden

Elizia, EACS’ Education and Volunteer Coordinator, prepares the Student Organic Garden plot in the NewHolly Pea Patch.

wading pool SLP 2013

Students at the NewHolly wading pool during enrichment time


The Pacific Science Center, which came every Wednesday, hosted a rocketship day and students made rockets. These students are making a rocket ships with pressurized water.

Kidpicks van w kids SLP 2013

During Nutrition week, PCC Natural Foods brought their “Kid Picks Van,” where kids taste different types of healthy food and rate them. Students tasted plums, strawberries, zucchini, and other fresh fruits and veggies.

Summer Learning Program

The Summer Learning Program, in partnership with the Vietnamese Friendship Association, is already well under way, with over 70 students in attendance.  Students are in the classroom for the first part of the day, brushing up on last year’s coursework and learning some new content.  Then, they spend the second half of the day learning through play.  Students learn about planets and outer space by making their own vinegar and baking soda rockets, they learn about nutrition by taste-testing healthy food and visiting the organic garden.





Organic Garden at the Summer Learning Program

Today, a two gracious volunteers from Permaculture Now and several Summer Learning Program staff took advantage of NewHolly’s Pea Patch program, and established an organic garden.  We got our first sun burns of the season planting kale, tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, and peppers.  The Organic Garden would not have happened without the generosity of Home Depot, who donated all of the garden tools, Swansons Nursery, who donated all of the plants, and our two Permaculture Now Volunteers.



Summer Learning Program

The Summer Learning Program is an academic enrichment program for elementary-aged students in Southeast Seattle, hosted by the Vietnamese Friendship Association and East African Community Services. Students will engage in academic enrichment, cultural activities, field trips, and recreation. This five-week program will be held four times per week, Monday through Thursday from 1:00pm – 5:00pm at NewHolly Learner’s Building. The program will serve about 100 elementary-aged students primarily from low-income and public housing families residing in and around the New Holly Neighborhood.


Students enrolled in SLP will receive a fun and safe learning environment to ensure learning doesn’t stop when school is out!


Application deadline is JULY 1st

The program will run through Monday, July 8, 2013 – Thursday, August 8, 2013



ESL Talk Time Update

EACS offers the opportunity for people taking ESL classes to practice their English with an English tutor.  We offer one-on-one tutoring for anyone in an ESL class, but we also offer the program to recent immigrants so they can practice English in preparation for the Naturalization test when they apply to be U.S. citizens.



Intro to Computers Classes

East African Community Services is continuing to offer our Introduction to Computers classes. Hosted every other Thursday by instructor Mohamed Moalim, this is a space for people who have very limited computer experience to learn the basics – from turning on a computer, to using a mouse and keyboard. This past Thursday, 10 people attended and every computer had a new computer user on it!


Professional Networking Night

With over 75 people in attendance, including about 25 professionals and over 50 students and young people from around the Seattle area, EACS first Professional Networking Event on April 26 was a success.  Thanks to everyone who came to meet each other, learn about a variety of professional fields, and make meaningful connections that could last a lifetime.



We would like to extend a warm thanks to our collaborators for helping this event happen:

  • Somali Students Association at the University of WA

  • HIV club at the University of WA

  • The dozens of professionals who made this event great