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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)
NEWS ADVISORY

SUBJECT: Mayor, Superintendent highlight programs to help Seattle children succeed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
9/3/2008  12:00:00 PM
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Mayor, Superintendent highlight programs
to help Seattle children succeed

On first day of school, middle-school students urged to start thinking about college

Mayor, Superintendent highlight programs to help  Seattle  children  succeed

SEATTLE – In an event at Denny Middle School, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D. welcomed students back to school today, encouraging them to take advantage of the many programs aimed at helping them succeed.

“Seattle must offer a bold promise to our young people, that regardless of ZIP code, you will have a great experience in our schools.  We’re committed to give our students a path to a bright future and to help all our kids stay on the right track,” said Nickels.

The Seattle Families and Education Levy provides many school-based, extended-day academic and enrichment opportunities for students.  For example, every afternoon at Denny Middle School, the extended-day activities allow students to participate in academic programs in science, math and reading, as well as music and art.

Nickels and Goodloe-Johnson also encouraged students to participate in the new College Bound scholarship program.  So far, 33 percent of eligible Seattle students have enrolled. 

“College Bound provides a wonderful opportunity, and great motivation, for our students,” said Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.  “When students graduate from Seattle Public Schools, we want the doors of opportunity to swing wide open for them.  That’s why we are committed to academic excellence for every student, and we appreciate all the partnerships, including College Bound, that help our students reach that goal.”

“College Bound” provides the promise of free tuition and books at Washington colleges, universities and career or vocational schools for qualifying seventh and eighth grade – and for next year only, ninth grade – students.

In 2006 the Washington Learns report on improving education in Washington State recommended increased scholarships and support for low-income students as strategies to improve academic achievement.

In 2007 Governor Christine Gregoire and the Legislature established the College Bound Scholarship, allocating $7.4 million to pay for the first two years of the program beginning in 2012.

Eligible students must apply by June 30 of their eighth grade year.  Last year’s eighth graders have a one-time exception to this rule and may apply until June 30 of their ninth grade year (2008-2009).

To be eligible, students must:

  • Qualify and remain qualified through middle and high school for free/reduced price lunch.
  • Sign the College Bound application and pledge.
  • Graduate from a Washington high school or home school.
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA.
  • Remain free of felony convictions throughout middle and high school.
  • Be a Washington resident.

Foster youth are automatically eligible to apply.

Seattle Public Schools estimated that approximately 2,400 of its students were eligible for the College Bound program last year; currently 900 of its students are enrolled.  Last year, Denny Middle School signed up 180 students for College Bound, more than any other Seattle middle school.  “Students who attend Denny can expect to begin their planning for college, both by signing up for the College Bound scholarship program and by taking rigorous college prep classes,” said Denny Middle School Principal Jeff Clark.

“Washington's future depends on a highly educated workforce, and the College Bound Scholarship program offers thousands of low-income students the key to that future--a college education,” said Ann Daley, Executive Director of the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, which oversees the College Bound Scholarship program.

Visit the mayor’s web site at www.seattle.gov/mayor. Get the mayor’s inside view on efforts to promote transportation, public safety, economic opportunity and healthy communities by signing up for The Nickels Newsletter at www.seattle.gov/mayor/newsletter_signup.htm

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Office of the Mayor

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