PHOTO L to R: Superintendent Wade Smith, Noah Leavitt, Tim Meliah, Jim Byrnes, Katrina Kerrigan and Dr. David Hampson.
Walla Walla Public Schools named Catholic Charities of Walla Walla, Friends of Children of Walla Walla and Whitman College Student Engagement Center Partners of the Year. The recognition is linked to Partners in Learning Month. Walla Walla Public Schools established Partners in Learning Month in May 2010. This month the district sent nearly 150 proclamations and letters of recognition to our Partners in Learning.
“We so appreciate the individuals, businesses, organizations and agencies who partner with the district throughout the year to support our students,” said School Board President Dr. David Hampson. “We strive to Develop Washington’s Most Sought-After Graduates and each of these partners offers unique experiences and opportunities for our students and staff.”
Catholic Charities of Walla Walla
Catholic Charities of Walla Walla and its Director Tim Meliah play a critical role in our community with a mission to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable. This organization began providing service in 1912 in the greater Spokane area and now serves 13 counties throughout Eastern Washington. The Walla Walla branch of the organization specializes in counseling, senior citizen housing and volunteer support, immigration services, and emergency assistance. Walla Walla Public Schools has developed a strong relationship with Tim Meliah through its Crisis Response program. His specialized counseling and people skills are appreciated when working through grief and supporting families during these most difficult times.
Friends of Children of Walla Walla
For nearly 20 years, Friends of Children of Walla Walla has helped young people in the Walla Walla Valley engage in safe, youth-focused friendships with adults. Director Jim Byrnes is steadfast in supporting the Friends mission of creating positive change in the lives of families — one child at a time. The program hinges on providing a child a caring adult relationship once a week for at least one year. Friends utilizes two strategies to make these connections. One way is the Community Based Program, and the ABC School-based mentoring program is another way to make connections. Friends now has programs or pilots in 10 schools in the Walla Walla and College Place School Districts. Adult volunteers in the ABC Program visit once a week with their young friend, with all visits occurring on school grounds during lunch time.
Whitman College Student Engagement Center
Since 2010, the Whitman College Student Engagement Center has been connecting Whitman College and Walla Walla Public Schools students. The partnership continues to grow as this year more than 350 Whitman College students are volunteering in district schools, under the leadership of Associate Dean for Student Engagement Noah Leavitt. Whitman students provide tutoring services, act as role models and enrich program activities.