September 1, 2020

The Summer Launch Program

From Isis:

Launch is a nonprofit that provides effective, affordable preschool, before & after school-age care, and summer programs at 12 locations in Central, Southeast and West Seattle. Our mission is to lead the charge to brilliant outcomes for the children of our community by ensuring equitable access to the highest quality learning and care. Traditionally, each year we serve nearly 1,000 children ages 3-12 — foundational years when our social, emotional and academic support help launch young lives on a trajectory of success. This summer in particular, however, with the onset of COVID-19 and its various health & safety implications our 8-week summer camp decreased to five sites with 9:1 max ratios and a total enrollment of 190. Fortunately, the unprecedented circumstances did not disrupt our whole-child approach that tailors individual needs and strengths. Conversely, we found opportunity to incorporate more academic-based approaches, new modes of instruction, curriculum development and pivotal partnership with other organizations in the youth development field to supplement learning!

The services and support provided by Youth in Focus complimented the very things Launch wanted to accomplish and also enhanced classroom engagement and positive site climate. The program that Youth in Focus delivered into our Launch classrooms was exceptional! They were able to transform their program into 10-weeks of virtual instruction that smoothly integrated photography concepts, technology, camera use and youth originality.  Lastly, I (a Latinx/immigrant identifying person) was SO appreciative that Youth in Focus included BIPOC teachers in their videos and that instruction was curated for the development of 3rd-5th grade because as a camper stated, “YIF was the only vendor that didn’t talk baby-ish to us!” Thanks to Chris for blindly connecting with me via some LinkedIn and Google research in order to bring this art medium to Launch.

Launch is so in love with how empowered our campers and teachers felt in becoming observers of their own lives.

P.S. Shout out to Glazers for the cameras! These were the best, NEW, tangible objects our young people have gotten to play with during these unpredictable times.

-Isis, ELO Director at Launch