News from Rainier Scholars-Tacoma, Summer 2022

Our inaugural Summer Stretch Academy for Tacoma’s Cohort 1 is officially a wrap!

Staff and students alike spent six and a half weeks learning, having fun, and tackling new and challenging things as a newly forged community.

Below are some highlights from the summer program:

  • Rainier Scholars traditions – While the approach and structure of Tacoma’s program is different than Seattle’s, there are many elements that remained the same across programs this summer – Day of Play, Popsicle Thursdays, Rattlesnake Ledge hike, end of summer talent show, the time capsule and even unprepared phone calls.
  • Electives – In addition to Lit/Writing, History, Math, Science and Conclave classes, Tacoma scholars were able to choose two electives to participate in during the summer, offered two days per week. Choices included Buckets and Boomwhackers drumming, team sports, painting, archaeology, and a rap/music class.
  • Felix Culpa wall – In Latin, Felix Culpa loosely translates to “happy mistakes.” Tacoma scholars were challenged to add their happy mistakes to our community wall as both an acknowledgement that we all make mistakes, but also to reinforce the notion that mistakes are a part of the learning process. By the end of the summer program, our wall was completely filled up!
  • Alumna visit – We were very lucky to have Karen Lobos (Cohort 2) visit us this summer. During one of our morning assemblies, Karen connected her many experiences as a young scholar to the incredible opportunities she earned in her young adult years, including attending Scripps College, being the first in her family to earn a college degree, and becoming Executive Director at Rainier Prep Middle School.
  • Our first Academic Coach – We’re very excited to have Shakayla Fields joining the Tacoma team as our first ever Academic Coach! Shakayla grew up in the Tacoma area and most recently was a 7th grade English teacher at Boston Collegiate Charter School in Boston, MA. Her role in Tacoma will be centered around building strong relationships with scholars and families, helping scholars maintain their gains and skills during the school year, and connecting scholars and families to resources as needed.

With the summer program behind us, it’s now time to start thinking about Cohort 2!

Our Recruitment Director, Nicole Anthony, has been busy attending various community events throughout the city meeting prospective families.

Cohort 1 programming will resume in the fall with a weekly online Literature/Conclave class, monthly family dinners and workshops, and monthly field trips.

Jennifer Ward

Chief Operating Officer