17 Jul 2017

Northwest School Returns to HU for Service Project

Northwest School Returns to HU for Service Project

Author: Wings  /  Categories: Campus, Wings  / 

Heritage hosted 65 10th graders from the Northwest School in Seattle during the students’ community service visit to the Yakima Valley in May. During the day, the students participated in projects aimed at helping residents of the lower Yakima Valley, and camped at the university overnight.

Northwest School is a private middle and high school located in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle. Each grade level of the school participates in projects that engage students in communities outside of their comfort zones. This is the second year students from the school visited Heritage University and the Yakima Valley. Last year they built raised gardens for families in the Lower Yakima Valley. This year’s projects include planting a corn field for agricultural research at the university, helping in a citizenship class at La Casa Hogar in Toppenish, following along with Heritage fisheries students studying in streams, visiting with students at White Swan High School in White Swan and touring Fort Simcoe State Park.

“We wanted to introduce our students to people from neighborhoods outside of the I-5 corridor,” said Kevin Alexander, dean of students at Northwest School. “Last year’s visit to the Yakima Valley was successful in that it gave those students an expanded perspective and cultural enrichment that you can’t read in books or learn in the classroom. We want to continue that tradition of opportunity for more of our students.”

Dr. Jessica Black, associate professor of environmental sciences and the director of the Center for Indigenous Health, Culture and the Environment at Heritage, came up with several project ideas, including having the students help plant the corn field and pepper crops in the HU research farm this year.

“By helping with the corn and pepper planting, the students will get a better idea of how their food is grown and learn more about sustainable farming techniques in an increasingly water-stressed region of Washington,” said Black.

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