By Wally Endicott, Executive Director, Kids at Hope
State Rep. Larry Seaquist is known to invest his energies in community development, peace- building, and conflict prevention. With this in mind he will be facilitating a community engagement event this coming Saturday, May 21st from 8:30 AM to 4 PM at the Gary & Carol Milgard Family Hope Center in Lakewood, WA.
Kids at Hope, a national organization that promotes a body of science that demonstrates how all children can succeed, without exception, will be co-hosting this event along with the City of Bremerton, Pacific Lutheran University and The Evergreen State College, Tacoma Campus
The essential discussion for this exercise will be to consider that our country and state are at the bottom of a severe economic setback while at the same time research is telling us that 50 percent of our young people feel hopeless and disengaged (Gallup Student Poll). The “call to action” will be to examine how, in this climate, we can replicate and build on best practices where hope and engagement are already occurring as part of a youth development system.
“Our goal is to drive public policy and improve student success rates by focusing on an asset based cultural framework rather than more programs, in order to develop a systematic statewide approach that will reverse the drop-out rate and produce hopeful and engaged youth,” Seaquist said. “The research is telling us that if we can be intentional about our culture it will lead to better performance by our students.”
Attendees will be placed on role-playing teams and interact around essential questions and goals. The teams will be guided through three different “moves” through the day as they negotiate with the other team members and set up strategic alliances in order to agree upon a strategic “must do now” plan. Players will then commit to their own individual next steps in order to support the allied plan. As a former Navy Commander, Seaquist has facilitated these simulations in communities around the world and believes that this process can produce visionary strategic planning models in a very short time.
Some of the organizations planning on sending representatives are: Washington Education Association, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, South Kitsap School District, Clover Park School District, Washington State Parent Teacher Association, Bates Technical College, Committee for Children, Franklin Pierce School District, Peninsula School District, Mukilteo School District, City of Bremerton, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma School District, Nurtured Heart, Washington State Board of Education, Seattle YMCA, Puget Sound Educational School District and the Bethel School District.