Seattle Public Schools

Emerson Coat Drive and New Rain Garden

Summary: Emerson students received some sweet gifts for the school with the help of community partners Rainwise and the Seahawks.

Emerson Elementary’s Best Week Ever 

The Eagles gets a double dose of goodness    

Emerson Elementary had the best week ever in November when students received two gifts thanks to community partners. The school received new winter gear for students and opened a rain garden on the campus.    

Operation Warm Coat Drive

Last month, Amazon joined forces with Operation Warm and the Seattle Seahawks to gift nearly 1,000 winter coats, gloves, hats, and shoes to students at Emerson, Highland Park and Olympic View elementaries. Operation Warm is a national nonprofit that manufactures new, high-quality coats and shoes for children in need.   

This is part of our commitment to ensuring that local students have the resources they need to thrive in the classroom,” said Jacq Olliges, head of education partnerships for Amazon in the community. “That includes gifting … winter [gear] for local students to get through these chilly winter months.” 

Myles Adams helps hand out coats and warm gear to students in a gym

Olliges said the partnership with the Seahawks is a collaborative effort between two organizations that are both committed to working with the community to help ensure local students have the resources they need to thrive. 

Seahawks Defensive End Myles Adams stopped by Emerson to hand out gear and read to students. He said his commitment to helping others stems from being on the receiving end of community support when he was a kid. 

“I can remember being in their shoes, and I can remember [meeting] my first NFL player and the impact it had on me,” he said. “Being in the position I’m in now – to give back to kids and just to be that face for them – it means the world to me. It’s phenomenal and it’s really cool to make an impact on somebody’s life.”  

Celebrating a New Rain Garden at Emerson

Later in that same week, Emerson held a ribbon cutting ceremony to reveal its new cisterns. One of the structures showcases the artwork of the second-grade class. The project was made possible with help from RainWise, Seattle Tilth Garden, The Creative Advantage, and a local artist. 

A balloon garland on a school fence that reads Emerson is Rainwise

Principal Keyunda Wilson said the rain garden is a true example of community partnership. She believes the outdoor space is just an extension of the classroom. 

“You know, learning doesn’t just happen in the school building,” she said. “Math and science and STEM and all of those things can be happening outdoors, and that’s how we’re looking to use it.” 

Wilson said the students have been using their new garden space since last spring. Students were able to enjoy strawberries that they grew themselves.  

“Outdoor learning can be a range of things,” she said. “They can be used for social emotional learning; it can be for sitting down and reading – a nice reading nook … We’ve used it in a variety of ways.”

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