Edmonds schools foundation receives $5K racial equity grant from Rick Steves

The Foundation for Edmonds School District has received a $5,000 Racial Equity Grant from Rick Steves’ Europe Foundation in partnership with the Edmonds School District. The grant funds the continuation of work begun by the district in 2018-2019 to create a racially and culturally inclusive learning community for all students. This is the second $5,000 Racial Equity Grant awarded to the foundation. 

“We’re so appreciative of the support we receive from our foundation through funding made possible by Rick Steves. Continuing the work and providing support to our families who are in critical need is our priority,” said Dr. Kimberlee Armstrong, Executive Director of Equity & Public Relations. “These funds help us continue our work in serving schools and increasing awareness and opportunities that are diverse and inclusive. It takes a village to keep this work going and we are grateful for the village that surrounds us.” 

Funds received in 2018 were used to create diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) teams at all 34 schools in the Edmonds School District, and to provide staff training around strategies for talking about race and racial discrimination. This work is now considered best practice among educators and has been shared at state and national conferences including the Association of Washington School Principals Equity Conference and the National School Public Relations Association’s annual meeting. 

During the 2019-2020 school year, the new grant will fund additional staff training and collaboration by DEI teams to identify root causes of bias and institutional racism. The district will begin data-driven examination of academic measurements in order to develop equitable strategies designed to close opportunity and achievement gaps for all students. Parent advisory group Equity Alliance for Achievement (EAACH) will partner with each school to increase family and community engagement with the goal of building more inclusive and creatively inviting schools. 

The Edmonds School District is Snohomish County’s largest public school district, serving more than 21,800 students across 35 campuses. Thirteen percent of students speak a language other than English at home and district families represent 115 different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. Currently, 52 percent of students are people of color. In addition, the Edmonds School District includes 13 Title-1 schools and on average 33 percent of students are eligible for the federal free or reduced lunch program. 

Learn more about the Foundation for Edmonds School District at www.foundationesd.org. 

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