Tilden families joined the school’s neighborhood residents to volunteer at Dakota Place Park for a morning of weeding, pruning, and removal of invasive species and trash. This park, situated across the street from Tilden, now looks more inviting for the whole community to enjoy. Thanks to all the folks who so generously gave their time and effort to care for this much-needed urban green space.
Tilden continued its tradition of an all-school community cleanup to celebrate Earth Day. This event is always interesting (What will we find?), shocking (How can folks litter this way?), and gratifying (Yay, we helped the planet!). For details, read a few of the kids’ stories below. Happy Earth Day!
The fifth-graders’ most recent research project started with their desire to effect positive change in this time of political turmoil. Expanding from their acts of stewardship at home and in their West Seattle community, the Fabulous 5’s (as their teacher calls them) explored numerous nonprofits, both local and global, that positively impact people, animals, and/or the environment. Guest speaker Terri Glaberson, a parent and Vice President of Programs with Girl Scouts of Western Washington, told the 5’s to find their passion, so that’s where they started. Parent and guest speaker Carl Hensman, Senior Program Officer for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene at the Gates Foundation, discussed the importance of effective stewardship, either through one’s own actions or by entrusting an organization to wisely use one’s donation. Finally, Dave McCoy, parent and river conservationist, shared the multitude of ways one can advocate for worthy causes. Thus, the 5’s research led to each student selecting a nonprofit that demonstrated proven success and sound financials. Finally, each fifth-grader presented his/her research by giving a formal speech. Results? Loads of learning, from how fortunate we are, to the immediate needs of most of the world’s population, creatures, and ecosystems; from how powerless we can feel, to knowing we can make a real, global impact with a few mouse clicks; and from thinking “we’re just kids,” to realizing kids are powerful.
A huge THANK YOU to all the Tilden families and staff who contributed to improvements at Dakota Place Park! After all the weed and trash removal, and the addition of mulch to freshly-weeded beds, the park is noticeably more beautiful for the West Seattle community to enjoy. An additional thanks to the Havens family for the delicious doughnuts and hot coffee!
Tilden’s current and alumni families, and current and former staff demonstrated the true meaning of community when we all pulled together to join Avery Berg, beloved 2016 Tilden grad, at the Run of Hope at Seward Park! Our collective purpose was to support Avery and raise money for pediatric brain tumor research at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where Avery is currently being treated for her brain tumor. By the way, with donors near, far, and between, Team Awesome Avery raised $144,893 for research!
Prompted by a parent complaint that not all parents were attending to their children in the Tilden parking lot, the fifth-graders launched a study to determine if unaccompanied children was an issue, and if so, how prevalent. Turns out it’s quite common, despite all Tilden parents having read and signed the following:
I will make sure that ALL the children in my care (even if I am escorting a large carpool)
STAY WITH ME at all times in the parking lot.
Concerned for the safety of fellow students, the fifth-graders decided the solution to this problem was to launch a safety campaign to raise awareness and accountability in Tilden parents. Thus, they formed groups: one to film a video (link below), one to write an email (sent to all Tilden families), one to create posters (posted on campus), and one to write a flyer (sent home with each student). Parents, we sincerely hope you grasp the importance of paying attention to (no cellphones) and staying with (no more than an arm’s length away) your charges in the parking lot.
After conducting a survey of Dakota Place Park, the fifth-graders determined the park definitely needed attention. Despite the efforts of the Seattle Parks Department and the volunteer group Friends of Dakota Place Park, the fifth-graders found invasive species, weeds, and litter. Then they created an action plan to effectively help care for the park. Today, 5/17/16, was their first day as stewards of the park, removing weeds and trash. Dakota Place Park looks better already! Way to go, 5’s!