Preview the class schedule
Spring 2023 Enrichment registration opens this week
Preview the class schedule
Our monthly newsletter for March is here, with updates on:
Our monthly newsletter for February is here, with updates about advocacy, our spring fundraiser, and our volunteer of the month. Check it out!
Genesee Hill Elementary is excited to highlight and give recognition to Liyun Cecil as our 2023 January Volunteer of the Month!
Liyun brought our very first Lunar New Year event to life last month, and all who attended hope to see this event make a yearly comeback. We would like to thank Liyun for organizing and planning this fun and successful event. Everyone who attended was excited to share their positive feedback and experiences. We were left with wonderful impressions and memories while learning about why Lunar New Year is so special to many around the world.
Lunar New Year is celebrated by billions of people and is one of the most important social and economic holidays. It is a public holiday that is observed across multiple days in China, North and South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Many travel to spend time with family as it is a time to observe and honor a household, heavenly deities and ancestors to bring in the celebration and arrival of spring.
The Red Dragon Dancers were one of the favorite highlights of our celebration at Genesee, along with a very talented Diabolo handler. Everyone was encouraged by Liyun to give the Diabolo a try for themselves. There was also prayer writing, paper puzzles, snacks, and books to learn more about why Lunar New Year is celebrated by so many.
Liyun and her Husband, Matt, have a second grader, Lucian, and a fourth grader, Sebby, at Genesee Hill Elementary. They have a hamster named Cookie. They love going skiing in the winter during the weekends. You might also bump into them at the Y or Meeples Games.
Liyun grew up in Taiwan and moved to the US in 2007. Before Liyun and her family settled in Seattle, they lived in Colorado and California for several years. She’s been loving Seattle’s cultural and food diversity since they moved here in 2014.
Liyun has a background in Social Work and Music Therapy. She practiced music therapy for a few years when Sebby and Lucian were little. Currently, she is an active board member of the Taiwanese Association of Greater Seattle, which promotes Taiwanese culture and serves Taiwanese residents of the Seattle area.
She was excited to work with the PTA for the school’s first Lunar New Year Celebration event.
Liyun is looking forward to working with the PTA to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion at school.
Thank you Liyun for a fantastic first Lunar New Year, the year of the Black Rabbit at Genesee Hill Elementary!!
Hello Genesee Hill Families!
The legislative session in Washington has started. We would like to take this time as a PTA to focus on advocacy for public education in our state. As families of public school students and PTA members, this is an opportunity for us to advocate for our children and children across our the State of Washington.
How exactly can we do that though?
Below are some concrete ways we can take action over the coming months. Many of these actions are simple, and some only take a few minutes to do.
If you only do one thing … sign up for Action Alerts from Washington State PTA. They will send you emails that both inform you about what is happening with education legislation in this current session AND give you ways to take concrete action, such as stating your position on some proposed House and Senate bills.
If you want to stay informed about education bills during the current legislative session… read Marie Sullivan’s articles in the Advocacy section of the WS PTA site. Marie is the WS PTA’s Legislative Education consultant and her articles are informative and easy to understand.
If you want to take in-person action… attend the WS PTA’s Advocacy Day in Olympia on February 20. Visitors can network and hear speakers from the WSPTA’s Advocacy Committee, the State Board of Education, OSPI, and Governor Inslee’s office. They can also take docent-led tours of the Capitol grounds and potentially meet with local legislators. If you’re interested in going, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we have enough interested people we can organize a group to go. Also, don’t forget to get your free tickets here. FYI this event is not designed for children.
If you want to financially support education advocacy, become a PTA member… Washington State PTA is the longest-serving grassroots organization that supports children in WA state (hurrah!), and a large percentage of our GHE membership dues goes to it. If you aren’t a PTA member already, join!
And finally… if you are interested in doing the legislative chair role for the GHE PTA, please contact me or a member of the Board. I did it from 2020- 2022 and would be happy to support you. Advocacy is the foundation of the PTA’s work, and we really need someone to step into this important role.
Victoria Brown Bhegani, Michael Brown, Lia Barros, and your PTA Board
Black Lives Matter at School is a is a movement championed by educators, students and communities throughout our nation. But did you know that it all started in Seattle in 2016? Genesee Hill is proud to uphold this week of action February 6-10 and you are invited to join!
Opportunities to Engage:
Poster Decorating Event 2/3: Please join us to kick-off Black Lives Matter at School Week by decorating the school with signs of support. Parents and their students will meet after school in the teacher’s lounge on Friday, February 3rd from 2:30-3:30 pm. Please enter the school building through the front doors where signage will direct you to the lounge. This is an opportunity to be in community with one another and elevate the week for our students. We hope you can join us!
Poster Making at Home: For those who cannot make posters after school, take-home supplies will be available at the end of the day on Friday (2/3) in each grade’s commons area. Students may bring their artwork to the school foyer on Monday morning (2/6) to be displayed.
Virtual Living Room: Check out the updated BLM at School Week Virtual Living Room with a focus on learning around microaggressions. From fun educational resources for kids, to curated resources for adults – there’s something for everyone! Carve out some time each day to dive in with your students.
Wear BLM Gear Friday 2/10: Show your BLM pride by wearing your BLM gear or any black t-shirt to school.
Gathering for Black Families 2/10: Black families are invited to meet up at 6pm on Friday, February 10th at The Good Society. Let’s gather to support each other and our kids. Join us for food, drinks, and connection. This is an affinity event for Black students and their families in West Seattle.
Don’t let the important learning and conversations end here. Let this week serve as an opportunity to inspire ongoing conversations and learning year-round!
Join us on Saturday, March 25 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for our Genesee Hill spring fundraising event. We will return to pre-COVID attendance, with a totally awesome night of entertainment, mystery, and building community with adult families and friends of GHE.
What: I Love the 80s to Death! A murder-mystery show and fundraiser to support Genesee Hill Elementary
When: Saturday, March 25, 2023, 5-10 pm
Where: Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College, 6000 16th Ave S
Tickets: Buy them here
FAQ: Browse a Q&A about the event
Plan to work with others to solve a murder mystery, enjoy cocktails, heavy apps, a dessert dash, DJ and dancing. Tickets go on sale Jan. 23 – March 3. Buy your tickets here.
This event will be an opportunity to join together and raise money for an art mural for the school (designed and created with input from the students’), a new digital sign for GHE, and the PTA general fund, including scholarships for IslandWood Camp for 5th graders.
Social signups and teacher experiences will be available to preview on March 17, and will go live online Tuesday, March 21 to all of the Genesee Hill Community. More details coming soon!
Questions? Please reach out to fundraising@geneseehillpta.
We need more help to make this event a success!
Sign up to volunteer for the event
Sign up to provide a dessert for dessert dash
The December PTA newsletter has the latest on upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and new Genesee Hill gear in the school store. Plus, details on a parents’ night out scheduled for March.
Genesee Hill Families,
These past weeks have been unexpected and hard for many in our community, and we have been hearing from several families with concerns about recent events. First and foremost, our hearts and deepest condolences are with the students, families, and community at Ingraham High School. We have provided specific links to resources about gun violence at the end of this email.
In addition to this tragic event, last week we learned of microaggressions occurring at Genesee Hill. Most of you received an email/text from Principal Dunn and your child’s teacher bringing awareness to these microaggressions and sharing resources. Following this, we also learned that Mr. Johnson, one of the few Black staff members at Genesee Hill, made a very difficult decision to resign. Many of you have reached out expressing concern that Mr. Johnson is leaving due to students and microaggressions he has experienced. He has had several students come up to him to apologize and/or ask him to stay. We want to ensure that students know that it is not their fault that he is leaving.
This situation has, however, brought to light a theme we continue to hear from our GHE community. Microaggressions based in race are harmful, are happening, and how we respond as adults matters. The GHE community believes it is important for us to address events as they occur, thus creating a community which does not shy away from conversations around race and identity, as uncomfortable as they may be at times. There is value in us talking with each other and identifying solutions to help support our community so that each student, staff, and family feels they belong.
As your PTA leadership at Genesee Hill and in support of the work already being done by our teachers and building leadership, we would like to offer ways for our community to join together in dialogue, about these pressing issues. We would like to host our first Community Wide Conversation on December 6th at 6pm (Location TBD).
This evening will be facilitated by PTA presidents Lia Barros and Michael Brown. There will be prepared questions to help guide these critical conversations, aimed to encourage the audience to express their opinions and consider new perspectives.
In addition to holding this space, we want to offer additional resources in alignment with what the school has already shared to support you in individual growth and talking with your kids about race.
Thank you again for taking the time to explore these resources and joining us in conversation. We look forwarding to seeing you all December 6th. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.
RESOURCES FOR GUN VIOLENCE:
How to Talk to Kids About Violence is a great resource. You know your children best.
We absolutely agree with what is said in this article, that “students are fantastic observers, but poor interpreters.” They see and hear so much, but without the space to process, they don’t know how to interpret what they are seeing or hearing.
Other helpful resources include: