July 19, 2024 2:04 pm

The premier news source for Snohomish County

Rise Up Academy celebrates new outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater

EVERETTRise Up Academy on Wednesday, May 29, unveiled its outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater, the first of its kind in Snohomish County for an Early Learning School.

Dr. Paul Stoot speaking at the Rise Up Academy Outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“We are excited about our kids having an outdoor performance space because we believe this space will stimulate their creativity and will lend support to many outdoor activities,” Dr. Paul Stoot, Sr., Executive Director told attendees. “Theater increases their intelligence.”

The new outdoor amphitheater will provide a space for students to develop confidence and communication skills Dr. Stoot further shared.

Rise Up Academy’s outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“Congratulations to Dr. Paul Stoot and Rise Up Academy on the opening of a new amphitheater for students to use and enjoy,” Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) provided in a statement to the Lynnwood Times. “Rise Up Academy serves as a strong example of how federal, state and local investments are paying dividends in Snohomish County, and I thank Dr. Stoot and the Academy for your continued commitment to ensuring students of all backgrounds are provided a quality education.”

During the ceremony, students sung a rendition of the song Rise Up by Andra Day, an Edmonds-born singer, songwriter, and actress. On the red carpet at a BET Black Girls event, grammy-nominated Day, shared that the song is a reminder to persevere, “to stand up because if you can stand up then you can take the next step, if you can take the next step, you can take the one after that.”

Students of Rise Up Academy with staff, Board of Directors, and special guests at its outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Perseverance is what Dr. Stoot and the Board of Directors of Rise Up Academy have been doing for 25 years in South Everett for its 65 preschool to kindergarten students. Governor Jay Inslee and his wife Trudi toured Rise Up Academy in January 17, seeing firsthand an education curriculum that refuses to let any child “fall through the cracks.”

“Trudi and I have been trying to help for the last four years on this by creating resources for early childhood education,” Governor Inslee said during his tour in January.

Formerly known as Greater Trinity Academy, the school launched an ambitious plan of expanding to a 6,800-square foot Early Learning Facility that will double the number of students it serves from 65 to 130. In March, Representative Larsen announced that $500,000 were secured in funding this year from his efforts for pre-construction costs towards the project.

Rise Up Academy, in July of 2023, received $2 million of $7.6 million of the county’s American Rescue Plan Act dollars (ARPA) that year to fund nearly 360 new child care slots fulfilling one of the key priorities community members identified in the countywide Pandemic Recovery Roadshow hosted by the Office of Recovery and Resilience. These dollars were allocated to fund access for high-quality childcare benefiting families over the next 20 years.

With a total project cost of the expansion at $12.5 million and including a $1 million grant provided by the Washington State Department of Commerce in 2022 and some additional donations, the Board of Directors for Rise Up Academy launched an aggressive capital funding campaign this year to raise $9 million. The goal is to break ground when the project is 50-75% funded.

Anne Bremner speaking at the Rise Up Academy Outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“I think every private person has a public responsibility and that is what I heard here today,” said Anne Bremner, former King County prosecuting attorney and high-profile television legal analyst. “I am honored and thrill to be a part of this.”

For is capital campaign efforts, Rise Up Academy will host a 25th Silver Anniversary Gala on November 1, and a Celebrity Golf Classic hosted by Kenny Easley, a 2017 NFL Hall of Fame inductee, on July 22 at the Mill Creek Country Club. Jay Boitano and Boitano Homes sponsored Rise Up Academy to be featured this year at the Seafair festival from August 2 to 4.

The proposed new Early Learning Facility will be built on the grounds of the existing South Everett campus and include six classrooms from three, a multi-purpose performing arts space to accommodate STEAM learning, an expanded library and technology space, and a new cafeteria.

rise up academy
(L-R) Dr. Terry Metcalf, Governor Jay Inslee, First Lady Trudi Inslee, Carmen Best, and Dr. Paul Stoot, Sr. at Rise Up Academy on January 17, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

“Arts develop creativity and develop different perspectives,” Seattle-born professional football player, Dr. Terry Metcalf, now Curriculum Specialist at Rise Up Academy. “We are in an age of media; all these kids know how to work a phone. So, we have to teach them other ways to have enjoyment than just a phone…create your own fun through instruments, through music, through drama.”

Dr. Metcalf further shared that by not limited students to only a “classroom setting” exposes them to unlock their potential and explore other aspects of learning.

Dr. Julieta Altamirano-Crosby speaking at the Rise Up Academy Outdoor Performing Arts Amphitheater ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

Rise Up Academy is located in what the county calls extreme “child care deserts” which is a census term to indicate an area has at least 50 children under the age of five that contains either no child care providers, or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots. Additionally, these areas largely serve families that are at, or below, 65% of the area’s median income.

Wednesday’s ceremony was catered by Ezell’s Famous Chicken which is celebrating its 40th anniversary year. Co-Founders Lewis and Darnell Rudd, along with their sister Faye Stephens, is hosting its 3rd annual Black Business Leadership Conference on August 17.

“We have been a supporter from day one,” Lewis Rudd told the Lynnwood Times. “One of the big things Ezell’s has always done is supporting the community and good causes in the community. Better education in the Black community can help close the wealth gap.”

Lewis added that Dr. Stoot and his team at Rise Up Academy are on the frontlines, “taking arrows in the back and pioneering the way” for the next generation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tell Us What You Think

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Should local cities remove the prohibition to sparklers, snaps, poppers, snakes, and similar low to no noise ground-based fireworks for July 4th?
62 votes · 62 answers

    Join Our Mailing List

    Verified by MonsterInsights