Monday, September 29, 2008

Emergency Operations Center

Last week, as part of National Preparedness Month, Sunshine Garden seniors took a field trip to the brand new Seattle Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Fire Station #10.

During a declared emergency, the EOC serves as the seat of Seattle City government.

The facility is equipped with state-of-the-art systems including: internet, satellite phones, video-teleconferencing, 800 MHz and short wave/amateur radio, 130 work stations, 27 LCD flat screens, and two 7' X 9' projection screens.

Unlike in days past, when it looked something more like this:

Thank goodness for technology!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New Phones

Don't know if you noticed, but CISC has been without phones for the last 5 days. Yes, our old system pooped out on us last week and we've been scrambling to get a new system in place as quickly as possible.


The good news is that we have 20 new functioning phones as of this morning for our most critical positions - information and assistance workers, case managers, and family center staff. The rest of us will be getting our units next week and we should be fully functional by then.

With this new system, we will be better able to serve our clients, volunteers and staff with customizable voice mail prompts in different languages and a less confusing auto attendant. As we install the rest of the phones next week, we will be customizing the system to meet our needs. Hooray!

Conversations on Race and Culture

Last night, Bellevue's Cultural Diversity Program hosted another gathering on race and culture, this time with a focus on the police and community.

Over 60 people with many diverse backgrounds participated in this event, with some even coming from Seattle and as far away as Portland!

King County Superior Court judge Steve Gonzalez and Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo were featured speakers, but the real work happened in the small groups, each with a police officer and 9 other community members.

Suggestions and recommendations will be taken up both by the police department, as well as the cultural advisory board on which one of CISC's staff, Alan Lai, sits.

We look forward to working with the department to act as a bridge to all our Bellevue immigrant communities.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Libraries for All

And CISC is a part of them. Check out today's front page article in the Seattle Times on the Libraries for All project.

Ten years, 27 libraries, and neighborhood branches customized to each unique community.

At the Beacon Hill Library, CISC staff Sau Lai Chan has been facilitating a play and learn group for a couple of years now. Read what she has to say about the library in the article. Scroll down to the section under Dramatic Change.

We are so happy to be able to partner with the library in this way. Not only do families discover how their children learn through play, they also are exposed to a valuable new resource in the community.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Seniors are Out and About!

Not content to sit at home, or even just participate in activities at Sunshine Garden Senior Day Center. No, these seniors explore new places and interests such as the Bremerton Blackberry Festival (and navy helicopters)

and Woodland Park Zoo. I didn't even know grown ups could fit in those turtle shells!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cute Kids

Just thought we'd share some pics of our pre-K grads who came back for a series of summer classes last month. We wanted to help gear them up for school in September.

Besides going on field trips, they read silly books, and made all kinds of food - like jello, vegetable soup, Vietnamese spring rolls, wonton, and home made ice cream!

Different families helped out by contributing their talents to help all the children get ready and excited to learn in kindergarten!

Monday, September 08, 2008

National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month. And it's no surprise, with hurricanes, floods, and all sorts natural disasters.

Fortunately, we don't get that many Category 5 storms in the Puget Sound, but did you know that King County happens to lead the nation in disaster preparedness? Maybe it's all the outdoorsy, wilderness types. Or maybe we're just good planners.

CISC has been in the forefront in disaster planning amongst local nonprofits. Today, Executive Director Alaric Bien was asked to participate on a panel as part of a training for other local organizations - about 60 in total.

Sharing CISC's experience in developing our plan, talking about communication with our internal and external constituents, all were part of a half day training to help all King County nonprofits become prepared for disasters.

Whether pandemic flu, earthquake, chemical spill, fire, or locust infestation, CISC and all of our staff are trying to be as prepared as possible so we can continue to provide services to our community no matter what.

Are you prepared??

Cultural Navigator Program Highlighted by Crisis Clinic

The Eastside Cultural Navigator is featured in this month's edition of the Crisis Clinic's newsletter Resource Talk. Click here and scroll down to the second article.

Did you know that the city of Bellevue has a higher proportion of immigrants than the city of Seattle? And did you know that CISC has been instrumental in working with the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition and others to bring services to our immigant friends and neighbors across the Eastside?

It's all part of the work we do to help Asian and other immigrants make the transition to a new life, while keeping later generations in touch with their rich heritage!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Class of 2022

It's September, fall is coming, and the kids are back in school. Well, for some it's the first time they've ever been to school.

CISC's bilingual pre-K class started last week and is fully enrolled again. The kids are adjusting well and excited to make new friends and learn the skills they will need to succeed in Kindergarten.

Teacher Pei-Shih took advantage of the good weather we've been having and broke out the sidewalk chalk the other day.

Besides being fun, the kids are learning the Mandarin and English names for colors and the things they draw (they speak Cantonese or Tagalog at home). They're also developing their motor, and social skills as they play.