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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Road Map Project

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May 21, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Videos from Storytellers: How I Got Into College

Applying to and paying for college is a challenge for many students, but the five students who participated in Tuesday’s Storytellers event faced a unique set of obstacles.

From serious illness to language barriers and generational poverty, each student overcame significant challenges to make it to a college campus. Along the way, the power of education encouraged them to see themselves in a new light and reach even higher.

The storytelling event was designed to inspire local students to pursue higher education and connect them with people who can help them navigate the application process. Between speakers, emcee Rose McAleese presented information about college access and polled the audience on their thoughts about the college experience.

Counselors and volunteers were available after the program to answer questions about applying, getting financial aid and more. The event was a joint effort from The Seattle Times/Education Lab and the Road Map Project, an education nonprofit serving south King County.

The evening began with the story of Riley Germanis, a 21-year-old senior at Western Washington University. Germanis always intended to pursue a college education, but his plans became uncertain after his parents lost their business during the recession.


Comments | More in Video | Topics: higher ed, Road Map Project, storytellers

May 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Photos: Students take to the stage for storytelling event

Five local college students took to the stage at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute on Tuesday evening to share their inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles to pursue higher education.

Dozens of community members attended the program, which was organized by Education Lab and the Road Map Project and emceed by local poet and filmmaker Rose McAleese. Between storytellers, the audience took part in several text-based polls about the college experience and their personal aspirations.

College access experts were also available after the program to answer questions and offer guidance.

Photos from the evening are posted below. Come back to the Education Lab blog later today for videos of the speakers telling their stories. (UPDATE: Videos of each story are available here.)


UW-Tacoma student Marcus Affleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photo by Marcus Yam/The Seattle Times.

UW-Tacoma student Marcus Aflleje shares his story at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. Photos by Marcus Yam / The Seattle Times.


Comments | More in News | Topics: higher ed, Road Map Project, storytellers

April 17, 2014 at 2:45 AM

Local parent empowerment effort wins $500,000 grant

A new parent empowerment program, aimed at immigrants, will get underway in White Center and Federal Way with help from a $500,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Kellogg Foundation on Thursday announced that the Washington state proposal was one of 30 selected for its new grant program aimed at helping parents become leaders in early childhood education.

More than 1,130 groups applied for $13.7 million in grants.  The 83-year-old Kellogg Foundation said that is the most applications it has ever received for a single funding opportunity.

In Washington, the money will be used for a pilot project led by OneAmerica, an immigrant rights group, along with the Road Map Project and the Seattle Jobs Initiative.

Those groups will select 30 immigrant parents who will receive leadership training and support in reaching their career goals.


Comments | More in News | Topics: OneAmerica, parent engagement, Road Map Project

March 5, 2014 at 5:00 AM

In the category of Best Education Efforts, the winners are….

The World Language Credit Program was one of two efforts receiving top honors at Tuesday's awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Kariba Photography.

The World Language Credit Program was one of two efforts receiving top honors at Tuesday’s awards ceremony. Photo courtesy Kariba Photography.

The Seattle-area winners in a first-ever education awards ceremony held Tuesday are:

But wait — first a word on the contest and the 21 finalists, chosen by a panel of local and national education experts.  (And please note there was a second awards ceremony Tuesday night, too, honoring the Seattle-area’s Global Educator of the Year, and we’ll reveal that winner by the end of this post, too.)

The first contest was sponsored by the Road Map Project, a consortium of school districts, cities, community organizations, higher education institutions, early learning providers, businesses and others working together to improve public education in south Seattle and South King County. On Tuesday evening, that group held a black-tie optional gala at the Museum of Flight to honor efforts in their region that are raising student academic achievement.


Comments | More in News | Topics: Auburn School District, Noah Zeichner, Road Map Project

January 31, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Many parents feel they have little say in school decisions, poll finds

A new telephone poll of parents in seven school districts suggests that most feel welcome at their schools and have the knowledge they need to support their children’s learning.

But when it comes to influencing school and district decisions, fewer than half believe they have those opportunities.

The pollsters questioned a representative sample of 2,051 parents in Seattle Public Schools and six districts in South King County about their relationships with their schools. The poll was sponsored by the Road Map Project, an effort to significantly increase the number of students who go to college.

The districts and community groups involved in the project want to work more closely with parents to help them reach that goal.


Comments | More in News | Topics: parent engagement, parent involvement, parent participation

December 13, 2013 at 5:00 AM

The good, bad and ugly in South King County schools

Courtesy Road Map Project

Courtesy Road Map Project

A reluctance to get real about mediocre school performance has long plagued education in this country, and in this region.

But in 2010, more than 500 parents, educators and organizations decided that enough was enough, joining forces through the Road Map Project to candidly assess where our schools are failing low-income kids — and what to do about it.

“The spirit of this,” said project director Mary Jean Ryan, “was that we knew we had problems as a community and that we were banding together.”

Three years later, their efforts, aided by a hefty $40 million federal grant from Race to the Top, are beginning show results: Many more low-income students are taking advanced courses in high school, there has been a huge leap in the rate of young people signing up for College Bound scholarships, and suspension and expulsion rates are trending downward.


Comments | More in News | Topics: Road Map Project, South King County

October 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Awards to honor teamwork that gives students a greater shot at success

Do you know of schools and organizations that, working together, are raising students’ academic skills and spreading educational opportunities more equally across neighborhoods and schools?

The Road Map Project, which is working to increase college attendance rates in south Seattle and South King County, is accepting nominations for a new awards program that focuses on collaboration.


Comments | Topics: Road Map Project