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Kraken gives skating lessons to preschoolers-celebrates their graduation

A couple hundred families take their final free skate, courtesy of the Seattle Kraken, which provided about 60 pre-schoolers weeks of skating lessons.

The kids from ReWA early learning centers sing songs for their families at the Kraken Community Iceplex

The Kraken organization provided buses to bring the kids from the three early learning centers run by ReWA, the Refugee Women’s Alliance, to the Iceplex, where ReWA’s Lara Walker, a special education teacher, says the skating teaches the kids physical and social skills.  Walker says kids who aren’t that far from learning to walk and who are still adapting to their growing bodies are then put on skates, so it’s another new skill for them.  Walker says, “Learning how to work together, learning how to take direction, follow one-step direction, follow two-step directions – those adaptive skills – taking lead from an unfamiliar adult.  The coaches are unfamiliar when they come.

ReWAs early learning director, Susan Lee, says some of the kids who learn to skate here will go on to be Olympic athletes, whether it’s ice hockey, figure skating or speed skating.  “This would not be possible without the One Roof Foundation as well as the Kraken,” Lee says, “They provided the facilities.  They provided all of the training for our students.  I could not have dreamed of a better partnership and a relationship with them.

Lee tells Northwest Newsradio many of ReWA’s families come from countries where they wouldn’t survive if they stayed, many don’t speak much English, and most are low-income but their kids’ early learning is paid for in full thanks to government subsidies at the local, state and federal level.  ReWA is opening two more early learning centers in the next couple of years, including one in a building for the Low Income Housing Institute and another in the Nook at Northaven, on the property of Northaven Senior Living, which we told you about in a recent story.

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