Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families

Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families

LEV: League of Education Voters

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

This group I chose to research is important because they help improve education quality and access to individuals and families who have been a victim to systemic inequalities in the state of Washington. This one particularly caught my eyes because even though I reside in Washington State, I haven’t came across this organization so I was intrigued to research into it.

Brief History/Organization’s Purpose:

This organization was founded in 2001 by local Washington residents in an effort to help support students in getting equal rights and opportunities for their education system in order to excel in their careers. They have influenced many of the landmark funding and policy decisions that were made in improving the education system in Washington on behalf of the students. The purpose of this organization consists of increasing Washington State’s student achievement to the top 10% in the nation, eliminating inequalities by addressing racial, economic, and social disparities in academic achievements, and increasing the number of students earning college degrees to 70%.

Whom do they serve?

This organization serves students and families all across the state of Washington to reduce the disparities of economical, racial, and social status for more educational equalities. They advocate for resources for the needs of students as well as mobilizing families, youth, educators, communities, and businesses to understand the public education system and remove barriers of systemic inequities. They also provide accurate and timely information to the media, voters, and policymakers regarding Washington State’s public education system.

The programs offered are:

  • Welcoming, safe, and inclusive school communities
  • Establishing equitable resourcing structures centered on the need of students
  • Addressing the student mental health and social-emotional wellness crisis
  • Students receiving special education services
  • Students with disabilities are general education students first and must be supported and included

What could they do better?

This organization could add a tab on their website regarding the programs they offer and more information regarding those programs. In reviewing their jobs and internships tab, they mentioned they are not recruiting at this moment, so they could have more internships and recruit more people.

Was information about the program accessible/red flags?

The information for this program was very accessible and there wasn’t any red flags to be noticed by researching the website. The only thing that I noted was that it was very difficult to find the programs offered by this organization.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

Another organization that is doing similar work to League of Education Voters is Communities in schools of Washington. Their mission is to surround students with support from communities and empowering them to stay in school to succeed in their lives.


“Putting Students First.” League of Education Voters, 10 Feb. 2022, 

Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families, Native Students

Native American Youth and Family Centre (NAYA) Resources for Native American Children and Students

Three images show left to right
1.  Three children of around eight to ten years old build a tent structure with an adult mentor. 
2. Several children of around seven to ten years old dance in traditional Native American cultural dress at a festival.
3. A smiling tween girl shows an out of focus document to the camera.

What Challenges do Native American Students Face?

Native American students experience significant barriers to equitable education in schools. A 2020 report found that just 28.1% of Native American students in Washington met the 4th Grade SBA Proficiency Standards in ELA, as opposed to 76% of Asian students and 65% of White students – a deplorable achievement gap that showcases the poor standards of education that Native students are subject to. The “Miseducation” project by ProPublica found that in the Seattle School District “Native American or Alaska Native students are 5.6 times as likely to be suspended as white students” and that “White students are 1.5 times as likely to be enrolled in at least one AP class as Native American or Alaska Native students.” Take a look at the project to learn more about inequities within the school district that you work within. 

Native American Youth and Family Center

In 1974 community members formed The Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) in the Portland metropolitan area which is located on the land of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla (and more, over 380 federally recognized tribes have traditionally inhabited the land). NAYA states that their vision is to build stable and economically secure communities that practice culture, spirituality and wellness. They offer a variety of programs including, “ lifelong educational opportunities, cultural identity, leadership development, elders support, homes for families, early childhood programs, and paths to financial security based on traditional tribal values. We are committed to eliminating poverty, hunger, family violence, and homelessness.” They offer a wide variety of youth programs in addition to their other outreaches. For example, they offer culture nights, gang outreach and prevention support, a tutoring centre and support for two spirit individuals. You can even learn about their Many Nations Academy, a program for Native high school students that offers unique electives that range from STEM skills to training in cultural traditions. It is important to recognize that COVID-19 has greatly impacted marginalized communities and the non-profits who serve them. As such, some programs have received less growth over the last two years, consider learning about how to support NAYA through their website.

There are three images as follows
1. A young woman with dark curly hair gives a graduation speech while wearing a graduation stole with a Native American patterns and a necklace with a large blue stone in the center. 
2. Another young woman stands for her graduation photo with two different graduation stoles with different Native American patterns.
3. A young woman smiles for a graduation photo.

Additional Resources

  • Sealaska Heritage – They focus on educating Native students and their teachers on culture and heritage of PNW Natives.
  • Northwest Indian College – The only accredited tribal college in Washington state.
  • Oregon Community Foundation – Offers scholarships to Native American students
  • National Indian Child Welfare Association – Works in six major areas; preventing abuse and neglect, the Indian Child Welfare Act, foster care and adoption, children’s mental health, youth engagement and juvenile justice.
  • If you know a child in need of culturally sustaining resources, encourage outreach to their tribe as specific resources may be allocated and available for them.


Groeger, L., Waldman, A., & Eads, D. (2018, October 16). Miseducation. ProPublica.

NAYA | Native American Youth and Family Center. (n.d). Retrieved February 2, 2022, from

Washington State Board of Education . (2020). STATEWIDE INDICATORS OF EDUCATION SYSTEM HEALTH 2020 Summary Report and Recommendations. Retrieved from ERIC.

Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families

Aid Outside of The School System

In the realm of education and discussing the systems in place to support learners the conversations are usually confined to schools and classrooms. There are hundreds of organizations dedicated to helping students succeed in these environments especially when they are part of inequitable situations, however there is very little support for students outside of the schooling system. With the rising number of families choosing to or being forced to homeschool it is surprising to see the lack of organizations established to help these people. Many times, students with disabilities do not have adequate space in the classrooms and must resort to doing their education at home. Similarly, families of first-generation immigrants might need to offer their kids extracurricular help to fill the gap created by language and cultural barriers, but do not have the resources or knowledge to do so. There are also gifted students or athletes who end up leaving the school system because it does not meet their needs but have very little ways to even learn how to begin homeschooling without paying for it. In this way homeschooling organizations can be beneficial, but most of these situations are often overlooked so finding non-profit groups in place to help them is very important.

In the blog we will be looking at an organization that works toward funding non-profit homeschool organizations through the help of the community. They are working toward providing support for innovative groups aimed at growing the cultural impact of homeschooling and minoritized groups. Their main goal is to enhance networks that strengthen these homeschooler’s learning. It was established in 2019 as branch of a larger national homeschool organization alliance, and has grown to impact families all around the world but more specifically here in America.

The Homeschool Community Foundation is looking at funding smaller nonprofits who benefit the every growing homeschooled population. While they do not directly provide aid to these families they are creating a network that can cover more areas than each specific organization. For example, this November they help fund a group was looking to provide help in Spanish for first generation Hispanic families. It included conferences, radio programs, and website full of information for free. In a world where most of this homeschooling information would cost money it can be a great help these families who may already be living in equitable circumstances.

One area this organization could improve on is providing direct connections to those groups. By creating a platform that highlights all these resources it could become the main place families begin their search for aid. When we have to sift through the internet looking for these groups in can hard especially in internet is fully reliable. If this website where to link to all these other websites it would build that bridge between those in need and the support, they are funding.

When looking at this website it is well put together with a coherent goal throughout each webpage. They made it very easy to see what they were doing and how we can participate and communicate with them. All of there work was laid out in articles about each origination including financial and business applications. It left little room to questions their intent and impact on the homeschool community. For these reasons we can assume this is a group we can support.

While they do provide direct aid as some other groups, it seems that their impact can spread to a wider group of students. There are other groups who have free education they are limited to select areas and do not connect with other groups. For instance, the K-12 program offers free online public education to families in Washington that can lead to high school diplomas, however it does provide that for anyone in other states. There are also group like The Center that have memberships needed for there services. Unfortunately, there are no other groups that do not require some amount of money for their aid, and this is truly the root of the problem. 


Holden, MA. Homeschool Community Foundation. (2020, November 30). Retrieved February 11, 2022, from

Washington. K12 WA State LP Home. (n.d.). Retrieved February 11, 2022, from

The Homeschool Center. The Center. (2022, February 9). Retrieved February 11, 2022, from

Accessible Forums for Social Justice, Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families, Housing Insecurity/unsheltered/homeless, Immigrant, Students of Color

FCS – Filipino Community of Seattle

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

Filipinos all throughout the United States of America are prominent enough and numerous enough to be important enough to have all the support they need, numbering around 4.2 Million Nationwide and around 100 Thousand around the Seattle Area and possibly more around the Puget Sound.

Brief history of the educational organization that you have researched along with the purpose of the organization?

Artwork by Christopher Ramos

Having been around since the mid 1930s, the FCS has a long and reputable history on its back and they have served a great purpose on helping the Filipino Communities around the area especially with those that are in incredibly need like those of recent immigrants, those who have been suffering from racial strife and segregation, and simply Filipinos that are in need. Thus, having the need to band together to survive in a rather hostile environment.

From helping the elderly to nurturing filipino children, their overall mission is to safeguard the well-being of the Filipino Community in the Greater Seattle region in order to achieve as stated in their Vision: “A united, thriving and vibrant Filipinx community.”

Whom do they serve? Programs Offered?

They mainly serve Filipinos from American-born Filipinos to Immigrant Filipinos coming from all around the world.

As their goal is to cultivate and develop a vibrant Filipino community, they offer services ranging from Youth Development like Youth Programs; to Cultural and Artistic Programs; to Senior/Elderly Focused Services like Senior Lunch/Food Banks and Senior Hubs; to even Civil Rights Services regarding Gender Based Violence that supports those who have been victims and are currently victimized with advocacy groups like the Filipinx Against Violence (FA V) that increases awareness and advocacy to those who have been victimized to crimes like domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking. (Source)

What could they do better?

Regarding growth as an organization, perhaps increasing outreach as weird as it is, my family which are all Filipinos have yet to really know about such organizations other than our other relatives that might be more in touch within the Filipino community around the Puget Area Region.

Furthermore, perhaps an increase of services regarding that of the youth and even that of cultural events can get some more services, however, I suppose due to the pandemic, such actions might not be as needed as it is now. With the elderly requiring more attention and support in these dire times. Which is why I believe outreach is more of a priority in regards to organizational growth and perhaps even membership.

Was information about the organization accessible? Red flags?

Yes, the information about it is incredibly accessible with both a website that is user-friendly and most of the information being readily available all within their website. Furthermore, they do also have a Facebook Page, which is what most Filipino use and is highly rated as well, as another source of information to be able to gather from.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

Regarding similar organizations, there are those like the Filipino-American Community of Puget Sound (FACPS), however, their website is rather empty and are filled with fillers like “Lorem Ipsum” throughout the website which was a big red flag in regards to activity. However, they do offer services like Scholarships to their Food Banks and with a rather remote location like Algona, WA, I believe FCS would be a better one overall. (Link to Website)

Another one is the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS), arguably a better than one than that of the FACPS, focuses more on Education and History than that of Social Service; however, due to that, they have a more comprehensive program list and curriculum for Filipino Education with Formal Educational Programs like that of Filipino American Heritage Studies and Filipino American Education Institute. Overall, an organization that has a different focus but similar in essence and work, serving Filipinos in America. (Link to Website)

Creating Communities of Learning that Include Families

Just One


Every day 2,000 youth go missing in ways of runaways, Amber Alerts, kidnapping, trafficking, and more. (If You Could Save Just One, 2018) Who is there to protect the next generation from the dangers of the world? The If You Could Save Just One non-profit organization based out of Spokane, WA helps children and teenagers find guidance in a safe environment. This organization, provides online and in-person classes, along with support for families to help allow their children to be able to pave the way for their future. This allows families a variety of resources along with a safe place for homeless teens. They strive to make a bigger impact on the community by starting with its youth. Through volunteer work, we can pave the way for an easier and safer life for the next generation.


The founder, Natalia Gutierrez, struggled with an at-risk teen who disappeared at the age of 13. Gutierrez knew that due to her son’s history of probation that she would struggle to find community assistance. From there she started If You Could Save Just One for all youth, including but not limited to, at-risk teens, homeless teens, children, kids with suspensions or probation, and more. She wanted to provide a place for all children to find their way, and for families to find help in order to allow their children to succeed.

Purpose/Whom They Serve

This organization’s purpose is to serve the families and youth in Spokane, WA to help children and teens guide their future. To also allow the community to help serve one another regardless of past issues. For children and teens to seek help from adults in subjects in school, life lessons, and more.

All youth, regardless of age, past issues, learning disabilities, etc, are accepted to the program. Along, with the youth, the families are encouraged to participate in activities so they can learn how to interact with their children and be able to support them. Community members can volunteer to teach classes, or provide support to the youth.

Programs Available

The group provides a variety of programs. They range from in-person, online, and group settings. While the programs above show more of the fun and skill-building, the group also provides educational classes. The volunteers offer one-on-one learning in topics including math, science, art, readings, etc. Families can grow together and learn how to help one another achieve the best outcome.

Improvements/ Red Flags

A couple of red flags I see are repeated content on the website. You see multiple times the classes and activities provided, however you do not see how or who Is teaching the class. In fact, there is no “members” page at all. There are lots of places to type in donations and or volunteer information. I also would like to see a page on the past projects they have done and more pictures of the group in-tact. Along with past projects, there is a spot to apply for community service, however does not specify what community service they have participated in. I want to see where the money is being put if none of the volunteers are being paid. Some improvements that would help the organization page would include, adding what donations go to, adding a board members page, simplifying pages to one topic, and adding more pictures of groups participating in projects.

Similar Organizations

  • River City Youth Ops helps youth job training, enrichment, and participation in the community. (
  • PNW Helping Hands is a treatment facility for at-risk youth ranging from 7 to 17. (
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