A Wild Day at Woodland Park Zoo

During the peak of summer, on the exciting day of August 18th, students, families, teachers, and staff from ReWa, MLK, Beacon Hill, and Lake City joined together for a super special trip to Seattle’s famous Woodland Park Zoo. The adventure kicked off with everyone piling onto a bus, and off we went to the zoo’s friendly south entrance. Stepping onto the zoo grounds, we knew we were in for a day that would create memories we’d never forget.

Our expedition commenced amidst the lush ambiance of the Beech Grove area—an enchanting setting that showcased a tapestry of captivating exhibits and immersive activities. Amidst the vibrant surroundings, a medley of engaging pursuits awaited us, from the simple joy of bubble play to spirited dance sessions that enlivened the atmosphere. A special treat came in the form of an artistic station sponsored by ReWa, where we adorned ourselves with intricate animal tattoos, adding a touch of the wild to our experience.

Elevating our adventure further, a duo of tables stood ready for an exclusive “Get to Know an Animal” interaction. These tables provided a unique privilege—an up-close encounter with two captivating creatures: a majestic hawk and a wise turtle. Listening to their stories and learning about their habitats left us in awe of the intricate web of life that fills our planet.

The zoo’s staff had thoughtfully arranged yet another immersive activity, inviting us to explore the sensory delights of nature’s offerings. Leaves, flowers, and sticks took on a new dimension as we engaged our senses, deepening our appreciation for the world around us. Adding a touch of whimsy to our day, we had the delightful opportunity to don butterfly dresses, infusing an extra layer of magic into our already enchanting experience.

Summing up our day, the excursion to Woodland Park Zoo turned out to be an exquisite blend of enlightening encounters and unadulterated entertainment. Our hearts brimmed with cherished memories, and our understanding of the astonishing diversity within the animal kingdom had grown profoundly. This unforgettable day was a testament to the power of collaboration between REWA and WPZ in shaping the Nature Play curriculum. Together, they orchestrated an event that seamlessly blended education with enjoyment, leaving an indelible mark on all who were fortunate to partake in it.

Exploring the Heart of Community and Passion at Lake City’s Grocery Outlet Store

A memorable field trip led by ReWa Lake City recently took us to the heart of our community, where we discovered the hidden gem of the Grocery Outlet Store. Owned and operated by the inspiring Renee, this local establishment has become more than just a grocery store; it has transformed into a thriving community hub that fosters a sense of belonging and empowerment. During our eye-opening visit, we not only learned essential grocery shopping skills but also witnessed firsthand the power of passion and dedication in turning dreams into reality.

Renee’s story is one of courage and ambition. After dedicating fifteen years of her career to a store in California, she took a leap of faith and moved to Seattle to embark on a life-changing journey. With unwavering determination, she acquired the Grocery Outlet Store, turning it into a symbol of her passion for community and quality products. Witnessing this transformation was truly inspiring and left us in awe of the possibilities that lie ahead when one follows their dreams with dedication.

During our visit to the Grocery Outlet Store, we were granted exclusive access to the inner workings of the store. From the bustling warehouse, filled with fresh produce and essential products, to the well-chilled freezer, where perishable items were stored, we gained insight into the meticulous processes that ensure the store’s shelves are always stocked with the finest goods. The experience not only gave us a glimpse into the operations of a thriving grocery store but also reinforced the importance of choosing healthy food options like fresh fruits for our well-being.

One of the most empowering moments of the trip was when we were taught how to navigate the checkout process on our own. This hands-on experience not only instilled a sense of independence and responsibility but also provided us with valuable lessons in practical life skills. As we scanned our selected items and saw the total amount appear on the screen, we realized the significance of budgeting and the importance of making conscious purchasing decisions.

When we had the privilege of conversing with Renee, her passion for the store’s sense of community was evident. The Grocery Outlet Store had transcended its role as a mere commercial entity; it had become a gathering place for the local neighborhood, where people came together to connect, support each other, and build lasting relationships. Renee’s commitment to fostering a tight-knit and supportive community was truly commendable, and it left a lasting impression on all of us.

Our field trip to the Grocery Outlet Store, owned by the remarkable Renee, was an enriching experience that not only taught us valuable grocery shopping skills but also allowed us to witness the transformational power of passion and dedication. Renee’s decision to follow her dreams and create a community-focused establishment has not only enriched the lives of those she serves but also left a lasting impact on our hearts. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Renee for warmly welcoming us into her store and for sharing her wisdom and passion with us. This unforgettable experience has taught us the value of pursuing our dreams and the importance of building meaningful connections within our community.

New state rules for ECE training

Last month, ReWA’s Kent classroom was host to a dozen students proudly displaying their diploma in Child Care Basics, the first step in a career in early childhood education. Florence held her diploma and smiled proudly. “I have 40 years of experience teaching, but without credentials it was difficult to get a job.”

ReWA program coordinator, Sara Cooley said, “Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and life experience: Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Central America. Some have raised their own families and are looking for a second career outside the home, and others are just starting careers.

Until last August, this meant they could complete the CCB class and work as an assistant teacher, but new state rules require assistant teachers to have high school diploma, GED and ECE Initial Certificate within five years of their hire date.  

Starting January 2020, ReWA offers two courses to help students meet these requirements. For English Language Learners (ELL) level 2 students the 10-week STARS Child Care Basics course is the first step. They practice English, build ECE vocabulary, and learn about US work culture. It is also a pathway to I-BEST (Integrated Basic Education Skills and Training), a solid foundation for ELL students to pass the GED test and advance to college courses. 

Cooley is enthusiastic about the new courses at ReWA. “By hosting classes in the Kent office, ReWA is bridging the gap between technical colleges and the clients who need them.”

She added, “Some of the students don’t picture themselves going to college—this new course includes the basics of filling out applications, paperwork, and field trips to college campuses, so they can feel comfortable on campus.”

Once students have completed Child Care Basics course and reached ESL level 3, they can enroll in the ECE Initial Certificate course, also taught at ReWA’s Kent office, in partnership with North Seattle College. After completion of the CCB and Initial ECE course, students have all the tools and certificates needed to advance in a career.

Just ask Florence: she now works as an assistant teacher in Auburn, and plans to enroll in the Initial Certificate course.  “Working with young children is very challenging, but I enjoy it very much.”