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Roundup of kid- and family-oriented news around the Seattle area

Photo: iStock


In this new feature, we bring you top headlines affecting Seattle kids and families -- and links to sources doing great reporting on those topics. Check back often for updates.



One of world's 'coolest places' is right here

A national magazine recently announced what many of us already knew: Artists at Play, the fun, attractive and inclusive play area at Seattle Center, was named to TIME For Kids's list of "World’s 50 Coolest Places of 2019."

The list, the publication's first, highlighted what it called "a mix of educational, innovative, and fun destinations that are tailored to the interests of kids."

It cited the facility's climbing tower and other play equipment, which it said contributed to an overall "hands-on/feet-on play experience."

Here's more on the playground from when it opened in 2015.

And here's the full Top 50 list from TIME for Kids.


'Highly capable' update

The battle over racial inequities in the so-called "highly capable" programs in Seattle Public Schools has escalated to a new level with a parent complaint filed with the state Attorney General's Office.

The complaint, signed by nine people, alleges that the district's proposed move to undo the "cohort" model of providing required highly capable services would constitute a violatio of federal law. It's all explained here.


Seattle schools survey

Speaking of Seattle Public Schools, the Southeast Seattle Engagement Coalition (SESEC) would love your input on this family-engagement survey. It's available in multiple languages, and the deadline is Dec. 15.


E. coli outbreak: What to avoid

There's another E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from California and, as of this writing, there's been at least one case in Washington state.

A safety alert from the CDC says: "Based on new information, CDC is advising that consumers not eat and retailers not sell any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California, growing region." That includes includes whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine and packaged salad mixes including romaine.

Read more here.


Schools on the move

Lake Washington Girls Middle School (LWGMS) is moving. Its Central District campus is closing and, on Monday, Dec. 2, students and faculty move in to a new home about two miles southwest at 2100 S. Walker St.

The new South Seattle space will also house Giddens School, in a partnership launched in 2016 when the schools and some parents joined forces to buy the former Imperial Lanes block and launch a $33 million renovation.

The new, shared site will allow each school to retain its identity and mission -- emphasizing rigorous academics alongside a focus on social responsibility and citizenship -- in a richly diverse neighborhood at the crossroads of Beacon Hill, the Central District and Mount Baker.

The Lake Washington Girls Middle School community will celebrate the new site with a ceremony on Monday, Dec. 2. Giddens will open and celebrate on Thursday, Dec. 5.


Snow before Thanksgiving?

Have you been hearing it? A few weather forecasters and Seattle-area residents have been throwing around the "S" word -- already!

Yes, apparently there's a chance it could snow before Thanksgiving this year.  Here's a roundup of some of the speculation, courtesy of MyNorthwest.com.

Of course, you can also go right to the source: Find updated National Weather Service forecasts here.





Mold at Children's: worse than thought

More bad news out of Seattle Children's hospital, which has been struggling with recurring mold problems. The hospital now has acknowledged that infections caused by the mold most likely are responsible for six patient deaths and 14 illnesses, dating back to 2001. 

Children’s CEO Dr. Jeff Sperring told the media on Monday, “Looking back, we should have made the connection sooner. Simply put, we failed. As CEO I hold myself and Children’s to a higher standard.”

Here's the latest from The Seattle Times.


Gifted programs: the past, the future

If you've been following the debate over so-called gifted or "highly capable" programs in Seattle Public Schools, you know there's high emotion on all fronts.  It has become clear that this isn't an easy problem to solve.

Those looking to shape the program's future have been gaining perspective by looking to the past, as in this KUOW piece. It's fascinating.


A new arts advocate for youth

Ashraf Hasham, Pakistan-born Seattle native (Ballard High grad) and former executive director at The Vera Project, joins the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture as youth arts manager.

"I've been working with young people in Seattle for a long time in the art community," he tells Crosscut. His passion for young people and the arts really comes through in this interview: "Art is not just to feel good, it’s a social catalyst for change — certainly with young people, who are coming forward in a way that we've seen time and time again throughout history."

Learn more about how he connects with young people (he's 29) and he hopes to accomplish in his new job.


'What's it like being a famous soccer player?'

Soccer star Megan Rapinoe always has plenty to say.

After her recent honor as one of Glamour magazine’s women of the year, the Seattle P-I posed questions asked by an 8-year-old club soccer player. It made for a good interview!


On the lighter side

It's hard to resist cute animals, and there's a sweet story behind this pair, new residents of Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium: "They were rescued as orphans in the same week. They spent the next three months of their lives together, snuggling with keepers and each other. And now, after seven years, they’ll be together again."

Read all about Mitik and Pakak and see video of them frolicking and vocalizing together.


Check this space often for updates on stories and issues affecting your family.

And, on the subject of news, Commonsense Media has a useful list of "Best News Sources for Kids."


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