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Altera: Awarded a 5-year grant for 21st Century Learning Center grant partnering with Hoquiam School District.

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WAPATO (September 1, 2023) – Altera (educational nonprofit) has been awarded a 5-year grant by the Department of Education/Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to provide educational afterschool programming to students in the Hoquiam School District in Washington State.

Altera partners with Hoquiam School District (HSD, Grays Harbor County) for Wonder of Water (WOW), a 21st CCLC Project serving 350 students yearly Pre-K through Grade 12 in five Hoquiam buildings: Emerson Elementary (TK – 2), Central and Lincoln Intermediates (3-5), Hoquiam Middle (6-8) and Hoquiam High School (9-12). Services include learning support (tutoring, mentoring), enrichment academic and social emotional learning programs for 32 weeks in the school-year and 4 summer-weeks. Student demographics include 4% Native, 25% Hispanic, 61% White students. 85% of all students qualify for lunch support.

The program partners with HSD and other community partners, including the Education Department of the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) on whose land Hoquiam is located. Altera will use Quinault tribe-specific curricula, collaborating with the tribe to add additional new lessons over time, infusing these into all programming. All Altera curricula prioritizes place-based, asset-based, student-centered learning. Prime goals: 1) improve participants’ English/Language Arts, Math and Science scores; 2) bring more students to school “Kindergarten-ready”, especially Hispanic; 3) improve daily attendance in all schools; 4) improve the District’s “9th Grade Ready” (no F’s, earning credit in all classes) statistics. Parents get computer software training and technical guidance on digital devices, plus support to build job search skills.

Prime drivers to reach these outcomes: 1) well- resourced programs in 5 buildings offering 12-15 hours/week 2) trauma-informed strategies recognizing that high poverty can negatively affect students and families 3) recruiting and training district high school students as ‘near-peers’ tutors and mentors 4) engage students and families in community events to spur cross-group community engagement, civic engagement and STEM learning (Rotary Environmental Stewardship, Grays Harbor Shorebird and GH Audubon Society, GH Festival of Color Kite Festival.) We help students engage in after-school through high-interest place-referenced learning; students learn digital interview skills to query parents and elders about their history here. The ubiquitous physical presence of water in Hoquiam, its historical and cultural importance to the town and the people, anchors the project: “Wonder of Water: WOW.”

Altera conducts our work on traditional lands of the Wanapum, Yakama, Colville and Quinalt People past and present. We honor the land itself and its multi-generational stewards who demonstrate in perpetuity a commitment to building relationships with Indigenous people for a positive future in Washington State and the entire region.