2015 Day of Social Action
Urban Impact's CDF Freedom Schools® program sites at Rainier Avenue Church and Rainier Beach High School have explored civic engagement in this six week educational summer program. On July 31st, 2015, Rainier Beach High School scholars, ninth through eleventh graders, led a walk for funding of public transportation from Seattle Public Schools and walked over a mile to Seattle City Hall to raise awareness of the Freedom Schools education model. At CityHall, the Rainier Beach High School scholars met up with the Rainier Avenue Church scholars (ages 5-13) for a time of Harambee, joining together for cheers and chants. Scholars from both program sites and all ages shared their experiences, desires and dreams of how they could make a difference in their community.
Background about the Day of Social Action
Across the nation, CDF Freedom Schools sites hold a Day of Social action, teaching youth to engage in community service and social justice advocacy.
Elementary, Middle & High school students in Seattle Public School District are expected to walk to school unless they live two or more miles away. This means students walk up to five miles a day, requiring them to wake up earlier and get home later. Students without ORCA cards have higher rates of truancy and absences, making it difficult to pass classes and graduate.
Schools also receive less funding if they have high truancy and low graduation rates. Schools most affected by the "walk-zone rule" are in neighborhoods with lower income families, as many of these students do not have access to a vehicle or money to ride the bus daily.
Students who walk several miles to and from school travel on streets with higher rates of crime than schools in wealthier neighborhoods.
88% of students at RBHS qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch based on their families' income. School lunch is less expensive than round trip bus fare, which means families who cannot afford lunch should not be expected to pay daily for bus fare!
Washington State statistics that affect all young people:
WA state sends more youth to jail for non-criminal offenses (skipping school, running away) than any other state in the country.
High School dropouts make up nearly half of the prison population. Youth who drop out of high school are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested than youth who graduate from high school.
Click image to see pictures from the Day of Social Action here