What's Great in Our State? Featuring Washington State

What's Great in Our State? Featuring Washington State

23 Apr 2024
A Child Associate sits at a table with a child, various toys spread out in front of them.
What’s Great in Our State: Washington
Harrah Elementary – Mt. Adams School District

Nestled within the heart of the Yakama Nation, Harrah Elementary School is dedicated to cultivating an inclusive environment where every student can flourish. Central to this mission is the Primary Project program, designed to nurture the overall well-being of our diverse student population. Our community, predominantly Native American with a notable Latinx presence, grapples with unique socio-economic and mental health challenges, including a youth homelessness rate ten times the state average and limited access to social services. It was in recognition of these complexities that the Primary Project program was established in 2018, made possible through the Washington State Mental Health Promotion Project (MHPP) grant funds.

One of the remarkable aspects of the Primary Project at Harrah Elementary is our emphasis on community involvement. Through boosted Facebook posts, we actively recruit volunteers who reflect the diverse tapestry of our local community. These volunteers generously dedicate their time to serve as mentors and guides for students, weaving invaluable connections between our school and the broader community.

Moreover, we partner with Yakama Nation Behavioral Health to ensure that our initiatives align closely with the cultural values and traditions of our community. This partnership not only enhances the effectiveness of our program, but also provides valuable opportunities for their employees to serve as volunteers during work hours.

What truly sets Primary Project apart is our commitment to cultural responsiveness. Step into our program's playroom, and you'll find it adorned with elements that resonate deeply with our students' cultural backgrounds. From ribbon skirts and shirts to drums, handbells, and farm animals and equipment, every detail is thoughtfully curated to reflect the unique heritage and experiences of our community.

Currently serving 25 students from kindergarten through third grade, Primary Project offers a nurturing space where children can explore and express their emotions freely. Through play-based interventions and one-on-one sessions, our dedicated volunteers provide invaluable support, empowering students to develop essential coping skills and resilience.

Our dedication to promoting the well-being of our students remains unwavering. With renewed MHPP funding, we are now able to fully fund Primary Project and support our volunteers with small stipends. Through collaboration, cultural responsiveness, and a commitment to excellence, we aspire to create a nurturing environment where every child can thrive and succeed


Childrens instituite Training volunteers


Harrah Elementary Pow Wow


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