Community is one of our core pillars. The initial idea for SOTA was to create greater student access to the museums in downtown Tacoma through increased partnership. As the school got started and we pioneered a new way to do education, it became obvious that the only way to make the schools sustainable was to foster a close community experience so we could support each other. These founding experiences stay with us today. Our partnerships have created access for students to Businesses for NextMove Internships, Museums, Universities, Theaters, Zoo, City, Forest, Waterfront and much more. And students entering SOTA, SAMi, and IDEA immediately experience the power of community as they interact with one another in Mentor Group and classes.

There is a lot that we could say about community, but the importance is the impact on our students, so this month, we’ll hear from two students about their experiences with community and partnerships. SAMI student Isobel Ladenburg shares how the partnership with Metro Parks Tacoma and the use of Point Defiance changed her education. SOTA student Ella Banken explores the idea of belonging to community through the lens of her camp t-shirts. These are just two voices of the 1,226 students we are serving in the 2016-17 school year.

Thank you for your support for Elements of Education and our partner schools. Through your enthusiasm, volunteer time, and monetary donations, we can continue to develop partnerships, form community, and provide greater access to students. 

Jon Ketler