Our New Home—The Bethaday Community Learning Space
For 15 years TAF has developed programs that meet the demands of our community, state and country. We will continue to educate more students each year for another 15 years and beyond. Our first big milestone: 20,000 students by the year 2020.
This means we need a permanent home that will house an expanded staff and where we can offer direct STEM educational services to thousands of students.
Through a partnership with King County Parks and the support of generous donors, we were able to break ground on this new home in Lakewood Park—The Bethaday Community Learning Space.
The Bethaday CLS was named by donor Ken Birdwell and TAF’s executive director, Trish Millines Dziko, who combined the names of their heroes in education. For Trish this was Mary McLeod Bethune; for Ken it was Michael Faraday.
Mary McLeod Bethune was born in South Carolina to parents who had been slaves; she herself had to work the fields at age five. And she grew up to become the mother of educational opportunity for African Americans. With the help of benefactors, Bethune attended college hoping to become a missionary in Africa. When that didn’t materialize, she started a school for African American girls in Daytona Beach in 1904. From its first enrollment of six students, it grew and merged with an institute for African American boys, eventually becoming the Bethune-Cookman School. Now known as Bethune-Cookman University, the school is one of the leading institutions of higher learning and a premiere historically-black college.
Bethune’s community leadership inspired thousands of African Americans to get an education and fight for the equity they deserved, and she supported them in doing so. She enlisted leaders of government and industry to support her vision for her school in Daytona Beach, and for social justice.
Wherever Dr. Bethune saw a need, she found a way to meet it, moving society closer to her vision. When a black student was turned away from the hospital in Daytona Beach, she opened a hospital to serve the black community. When the nation mobilized resources for the first and second World Wars, she pressed for the integration of the American Red Cross and Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. She led voter registration drives and anti-lynching campaigns.
Mary McLeod Bethune’s vision lives on today at the school she founded, which continues to sustain her legacy of faith, scholarship and service.
Michael Faraday, born on the wrong side of
a very class-conscious society, went on to discover the electromagnetic field, electromagnetic induction, and all the foundations of electric motors. In fact, it was largely due to his efforts that electricity became a viable source of power.
With an eager mind and drive for self-improvement but only the most rudimentary education, Mr. Faraday just happened to live at a time when science and technology were open to the public. Science wasn’t considered important enough to lock away behind class barriers. It was demonstrated in public lectures, mixtures of spectacle and guesswork but open to all.
The self-taught Faraday took advantage of every new opportunity available to meet with others like himself, to see what others were doing, and most importantly—and fortunately for us—to try things out for himself.
Faraday is a man whose name is used in the same breath as Newton and Einstein. He gave us much of what we know as the modern world. Yet if he had been born 20 years earlier or 20 years later, his discoveries might never have happened. Without that public access to the science of the day, much of our modern technological society would have had to wait.
605 SW 108th St, Seattle, WA 98146 (that’s in Lakewood Park)