Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries Tagged as 'Education'

Queen Anne’s newest Little Free Library is kid-friendly and number 22 on the map

October 20th, 2014 by Laura

It’s been a while since I spotted a new Little Free Library, but on a dismal Sunday after the Seahawks’ loss, a colorful LFL caught my eye. Unless I’ve missed an LFL – which is possible since much of September I was out-of-commission – this LFL is number 22 for Queen Anne.

Located on 1st Ave N at Lynn St, you can’t miss the cheery multi-colored LFL.

LFL 1st Ave N

This particular LFL is billed as a “Kids Edition” and is sponsored by Queen Anne Kids Preschool. In addition to being well-stocked with books, the newest LFL has children’s literary characters such as Curious George and Maisy Mouse adorning the sides and top of the box.

LFL 1st Ave N sign

And, as always, a call to readers – if you spot a LFL that isn’t on our map, or add one of your own, let us know! The current map is below, and photos of all 22 LFLs are in our LFL gallery.

LFL Map 102014

Also, I’ve noticed that several of our Queen Anne Little Free Libraries are running low on books. If you have books that need a home, consider dropping them off at a LFL. (If you have kids’ books, the Howe St LFL seems really low on supply.)

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Umbrella Tree hosting backpack drive for Northwest Center Kids

August 6th, 2014 by Laura

Local Queen Anne business Umbrella Tree is hosting a backpack and school supply community drive for Northwest Center. Umbrella Tree creates and hosts kid-focused social and play development classes at Twirl Café.

Umbrella Tree backpackTo help out Northwest Center’s Kids Program, Umbrella Tree is running a community drive to get 45 backpacks and supplies “adopted” for the upcoming school year.

Northwest Center has had a tough year, as the organization was faced with a late notice to vacate its long-time Queen Anne home. As of June, it found a home in Greenwood, but it still has many strong ties in the Queen Anne community.

If you’d like to help out, sign-up on Umbrella Tree’s site to adopt a new, or donate a “like-new” backpack, and they’ll also let you know of the recipient’s school supply needs to help fill the backpack.

Backpacks can be dropped off at the Queen Anne Eat Local (corner of Queen Anne Ave N and McGraw) and Twirl Café (2111 Queen Anne Ave N) now through next Friday, August 15th.

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Queen Anne host families sought for World Heritage Exchange program

May 29th, 2014 by Laura

World Heritage, a nonprofit organization that connects international high school students with local families, is looking for Seattle families for the 2014-15 school year. World Heritage provides local families with the opportunity to host students ages 15 to 18, from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Canada and Mexico.


Here are the details from World Heritage:

By opening up your heart and your home, you will be giving an exceptional young person the opportunity of a lifetime – to live with your family and experience firsthand the language, customs and culture of our country. There is no greater opportunity for bright, inquisitive teenagers eager to expand their knowledge and their worlds.

In return, your World Heritage Exchange student will bring a fresh new outlook on life and a bit of his or her native country into your home. It is truly the meeting of two cultures — not as a tourist but as a “family” — learning from each other and living together.

The students have their own funds for personal expenditures, attractions, clothes and everything else teenagers like to do!

To learn more visit the World Heritage web site or contact your local area representative, Clay, via email.

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Two free library events for gardeners this weekend

May 10th, 2014 by Laura

QALibraryWe’re expanding our scope just a bit, one neighborhood over, to give gardeners the heads up on two free classes presented by the Seattle Public Library. One is today at 1pm at the Magnolia branch, the other is tomorrow at our own Queen Anne Branch.

Details are below:

Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard 
Magnolia Branch
Saturday, May 10
1:00 to 2:30pm
Want to grow food in your yard or balcony this season? Brad Halm, co-owner of The Seattle Urban Farm Company and co-author of the edible garden primer, “Food Grown Right, in your Backyard,” will guide you through designing your own backyard farm. You’ll learn how to design and construct your own vegetable garden.

Dealing with Summer Pests in the Garden with Seattle Tilth
Queen Anne Branch
Sunday, May 11
2:00 to 3:30pm
Seattle Tilth will help you organically deal with pests, weed and disease control in your garden. Tilth will discuss integrated pest management practices as well.

If you’re interested in vegetable gardening or keeping those pesky pests away and weeds at bay, check out these free classes!

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April Pools Day is this Saturday

April 17th, 2014 by Laura

It’s that time of year again, time for April Pools Day at Seattle Parks and Recreation pools. Queen Anne Pool is participating this Saturday with a free event for families who want to prepare in advance for summer safety.

April Pools Day 2014Water safety tips and activities are on the agenda, and attendees of all ages can learn hands-on water safety both in and out of the water. Activities include practicing using life jackets, learning about hypothermia, practicing reaching and throwing rescues, and CPR.

The event is free and participants can also enter a drawing for a free life jacket and other prizes. Stop by Queen Anne Pool at 1920 1st Ave W this Saturday, April 19, from 3:30pm – 4:30pm.

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Get in touch with nature and learn about Queen Anne trees at Saturday’s Tree Walk

April 9th, 2014 by Laura

Tree AmbassadorYou may recall our post on Tree Ambassadors back in February, the city of Seattle’s reLeaf program was looking for volunteers to speak for our neighborhood trees – hands have been raised and the first Queen Anne Tree Walk is this Saturday!

The walk covers the northwest portion of the top of Queen Anne, beginning at Coe Elementary School (2424 7th Ave W) this Saturday, April 12th at 10am. The walk will be a 2-hour guided tour of trees along a portion of Queen Anne Boulevard, as well as some off-the-beaten path trees.

Tree Walk map

The Queen Anne Tree Walk is free and open to all. You can RSVP online or just meet up with the group in front of Coe Elementary School.

For more information on the walk or to become a Tree Ambassador, visit the city’s Tree web site or contact them via email.

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Writing class on Lake Union focuses on capturing your adventures

March 25th, 2014 by Laura

Adventure Writing PosterAre you an aspiring travel writer? Looking to start a blog? Or, perhaps you’re a seasoned journalist or author looking for new inspiration?

The UW Experimental College is taking to the seas – or, rather, Lake Union – for a one-night Adventure Writing Class. What sets this class apart from the usual writing class is that it takes place on a boat moored on Lake Union. Inspiring views and a tranquil location will serve to inspire your inner writer.

Here’s the course description:

“Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a Himalayan climber, you can write (and publish!) about your travels. As you learn how to transition from keeping a travel journal to creating publishable work, we’ll read examples of successful magazine pitches, practice pitching stories to best attract the attention of editors, generate ideas from your own travel history, and refine your writing so that your stories will be as moving to readers as they are to you. Whether you’re a beginner who wants to start a blog or an established writer aiming for National Geographic, you’ll learn something here.”

The one-night class will be held on one of the boats at Lake Union Charters & Adventures at 2420 Westlake Ave. The boat won’t actually set sail, it’ll stay moored with views of Lake Union from the Queen Anne side (good news for those prone to sea-queasiness who still want to enjoy the view).

The class is open to the public, and there are two dates to choose from – Tuesday, April 22nd or Wednesday, May 14th. Fee information and registration is available online.

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Inspire future scientists! McClure seeks scientists to present at Science Career Day

March 24th, 2014 by Laura

McClure Middle School is hosting a Science Career Day on Thursday, April 10th, and they need guest speakers to inspire kids and answer their questions on what it’s like to be a scientist.

McClure_tileIf you have a cool science career or know someone who does and would be a great speaker, this is a great opportunity to make Science Career Day a success, and inspire future scientists. The school is hoping for at least 13 guest speakers, and it needs your help!

In addition to speaking at Science Career Day, the school is also interested in field trips to real-life scientist work locations – a great opportunity for students to learn even more about what it’s like to work in a scientific field.

McClure teaches the following subjects, and is especially interested in guest speakers for these areas:

  • 6th grade – Chemistry, Biology, Genetics, Human Body
  • 7th grade – Chemistry, Physics, Catastrophic Events
  • 8th grade  – Astronomy, Physics, Catastrophic Events, Human Body

For interested speakers, McClure Middle School is at 1915 1st Ave W and the school day starts 7:50am and finishes at 2:20pm. McClure has 3 time blocks for Guest Speakers to share their expertise with students, presenting to 2-3 classrooms for 30 minutes. If you or your nominated speaker needs more or less time, just ask!

  • Block 1 – 7:30 am - 10am
  • Block 2 – 9:30 am  - 12noon
  • Block 3 – 12noon - 2:30 pm

If you’re interested in inspiring future scientists, contact Sandra Katsoolis via email or at 206-512-0440.

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Local Sweet Pea Cottage hosting its 11th Annual Auction this Saturday

February 27th, 2014 by Laura

Sweet Pea PosterSweet Pea Cottage Preschool for the Arts is a Queen Anne-based nonprofit that connects educators and artists with children to explore a variety of traditions, disciplines, and arts-based experiences. Sweet Pea Cottage’s mission is to “enrich, inspire, challenge, and expand every child’s world through an art-based education.”

This Saturday, Sweet Pea is hosting its 11th Annual Dinner & Auction at the Renaissance Seattle Hotel. The event includes both a silent and live auction. This annual event is Sweet Pea’s primary fundraiser and all funds go to providing arts-based experiences for children, including scholarships for foster children and underserved children in Seattle.

Tickets to the event can be purchased online and the Auction Catalog is online as well, so you can take a look at the goods available in advance.

Sweet Pea Auction Poster

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Northwest Center school given 6 months to vacate Queen Anne location

January 23rd, 2014 by Laura

Editor’s note: updated with additional information on the Cascade Parent Partnership program.

NW Center signA reader wrote in to let us know about the letter sent to Northwest Center Queen Anne parents, detailing the Seattle Public School district’s plans for the current location of Northwest Center Kids school on the corner of Florentia and 1st Ave W.

Northwest Center provides an early learning program “for children with and without disabilities in the same program, recognizing each child as a unique individual.”

NW CenterThe site is owned by Seattle Public School district, but has been the home to Northwest Center’s school for 28 years – and per a letter from the school district, they now have 6 months to vacate so the district can use the building for Cascade Parent Partnership, a program for home-schooled children. According to the Seattle Times, their current building, the Wilson-Pacific  School, is being demolished and replaced with a new middle school and elementary school.

While 6 months is the timeframe in the lease termination agreement, the school says it needs more time to make the move. According to Northwest Center, “at least two years would be needed to navigate the logistical challenges of a move as well as the licensing and permitting hurdles we would face.”

The Seattle Times has picked up the story and KING 5 is looking for parents to interview. You can read the full letter to Northwest Center parents below. If you’re interested in helping, check out the “How You Can Help” document, which also contains all of the contact information for Seattle Public School Board officials.

Dear Families,

I am writing to share news that affects the entire Northwest Center Kids community that we have all worked so hard to build here at Queen Anne.  As many of you know, we have made our home at North Queen Anne Elementary for 28 years, made possible by a long-time lease with Seattle Public Schools.  We were recently notified by Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lester Herndon, who is in charge of facilities among other things, that Seattle Public Schools needs the building back and will terminate our lease with six months notice per the terms of our lease agreement.

This is shocking news and news which we are prepared to challenge and fight with every resource available to us.  Our first priority for the 49 year existence of Northwest Center has been you the families that make up our community of “people of all abilities.”  We are determined to keep this community of families intact, and we are pursuing any and all possible solutions to accomplish this.

At this point we are in the early stages of reviewing our options which we hope will include productive negotiations with Seattle Public Schools.  Northwest Center has already expressed its interest in buying the property from Seattle Public Schools.  But if that is not possible then at minimum we need more time – at least two years to identify, permit, remodel, and license a facility that can accommodate our students and their specific needs.

Unfortunately we have not been included in any discussions to-date about the future of our school and our programs.  Had Seattle Public Schools been more transparent with us about this plan when it was first formulated, we would have made our case that the facility is serving its best and highest purpose with Northwest Center Kids.

But we are inserting ourselves into the discussions now and making our case forcefully.  Our singular focus is in doing everything we can to prevent devastating impacts to our programs, the early learning opportunities for the children we work with, and the sense of place and community that are so important to everyone associated with Northwest Center Kids.

It is obviously important for all of us to work together as we navigate this process and we want to hear from you and answer any questions and concerns you have.  Tom Everill, our CEO, and I will be available to share information and answer questions on Friday from 4:30 – 6:00PM.   At that time we will also be able to share with you what you can do to support our efforts and secure a future for Northwest Center Kids.

Open House
Friday, January 17   4:30 – 6:00PM
Queen Anne Conference Room

Thank you.   We look forward to tackling this critical challenge together.

Jane Dobrovolny
Executive Director, Northwest Center Kids

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Queen Anne library turns 100 in January – help mark a century with your own scrapbook entry

December 16th, 2013 by Laura

QALibraryOur Queen Anne library branch one of the coolest spots on Queen Anne – ok, I’m partial to libraries, but you have to admit, our branch is beautiful!

What makes our library so special, other than that it’s ours? Well, for starters, it’s one of six Carnegie libraries in Seattle. From the brickwork to the windows to the multi-colored roof, I think everyone can admit it’s pretty unique and a special spot on Queen Anne.

Library Plaque

Plaque with 1913 construction date

Andrew Carnegie gave Seattle $200,000 to build a new fireproof library after the original Yesler Mansion burned in 1901. In 1910, he went on to donate $105,000 for the West Seattle, Green Lake, and University District branches. Another gift of $70,000 resulted in our Queen Anne branch in 1914 and the Columbia branch in 1915.

The Queen Anne branch is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a landmark building by Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Board. In addition to its architectural significance, the Queen Anne branch is also a key part of our neighborhood’s history, and it’s celebrating a big birthday – 100 years – in January.

QA Library kids

SPL Collection: Queen Anne Library branch
ca. late 1950s-early 1960s
Submitted by Mrs. Floyd W. Mason, Jr. Queen Anne Manor

It looks pretty good for a centenarian (thanks in part to a 2007 renovation), and is well loved by patrons both young and old.

Although, it did cause quite a stir for one Queen Anne resident 100 years ago – one parent sent the following letter to Miss Helen Watson, the branch’s first children’s librarian:

“Dear Madam: Will you please stop John and Mary from getting any more books as we can’t get anything out of them at all – they won’t go to bed at night and won’t get up in the morning and won’t do anything but read when they do get up.”

To celebrate the special anniversary, the Seattle Public Library is planning a free celebration at the Queen Anne branch on Sunday, January 12th from 2pm to 4pm. Activities include:

  • Goodwill’s Vintage Fashion Collection exhibit of vintage clothing and an interactive hat show – step back in time and try on one or more of 50 vintage hats!
  • Historical information provided by Queen Anne Historical Society
  • Music and refreshments
  • A commemorative bookmark
  • Children’s craft activity making whirligigs
QA Library Scrapbook paper

Queen Anne library scrapbook paper
Pick up yours today!

And, you can be a part of the preparations via an anniversary scrapbook that the library is putting together. Just stop by the library and share written stories now about your favorite Queen Anne branch experiences on specially designed scrapbook paper.

The paper is available now at the branch, so be sure to take part in the storytelling today.  Your story may be featured in another 100 years, just as the “stop John and Mary from getting any more books” story was shared today!

The anniversary scrapbook will be on display during the celebration, so make plans now to share your stories to mark the happy occasion. If you can’t make it to the library, you can also email your story to and it’ll be included in the scrapbook. Submissions will be taken up to January 12th.

And, mark your calendars to join in the celebration on January 12th, and Happy (early) Birthday, Queen Anne library!

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Turkey Bingo at McClure this Thursday

November 19th, 2013 by Laura

McClure Turkey BingoIt’s November and time for McClure Middle School’s Turkey Bingo , an annual fundraiser that helps keep McClure’s afterschool activities up and running.

Turkey Bingo is this Thursday at McClure (1915 1st Ave W), from 5:30-8pm. Bingo cards are $5 apiece, with additional cards priced at the low, low price of 50 cents each. Plus, if you bring a can of food for the Queen Anne Food Bank, you get 2 bingo cards free!

What can you win? All sorts of prizes, from Starbucks cards to Menchies certificates to pies… and, turkeys! It wouldn’t be Turkey Bingo without them!

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