Communities In Schools, a nationwide organization, supports students in more than 200 communities across 27 states. Within Auburn, the organization reaches youth at all 22 area schools. Giving more than 5,000 hours of their time per year, the Auburn branch’s 118 volunteers organize donation drives for school supplies, join with local food banks to distribute nutritious foods, and run high-quality tutoring programs for students from low-income families. Last year the team tutored 247 students and provided 5,983 Auburn students with school supplies, clothing, shoes, and hygiene products. Driven by these passionate volunteers, the organization proves the strength of its services with a slew of measureable results, such as the fact that of the 247 students that it tutored last year, 87% improved their test scores.
A poorly trained barista in front of a top-notch espresso machine is like an 8-year-old behind the wheel of a car—he has no idea the power before him, nor how to use it. Enter owner Bob Burgess—a specialty-beverage entrepreneur for more than 39 years—and his team at Seattle Barista Academy. For just less than a decade, Burgess and company have taught intense hands-on training programs that focus on crafting coffee, espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, and mocha drinks using advanced techniques and equipment. From learning the life cycle of a coffee bean to mastering grinding methods, extraction techniques, and latte art, students walk away with a wealth of knowledge that makes them more employable. Like deeply unpopular one-man shows, the classes consist of one-on-one attention, since class sizes are limited to no more than seven participants.
Seattle Barista Academy's staff members—all of whom have been professional baristas at some point in their careers—have up to 19 years of experience in the field. These sessions provide clients with the coffee-making and marketing knowledge they need to grow their coffee cart, kiosk, or fort built from coffee beans.
As one of the city's newest stand-up venues, Tacoma Comedy Club welcomes talented local and national yuk peddlers to its stage Wednesday–Saturday nights. A peek at its calendar reveals a host of rotating acts, such as the recent laugh-inducing likes of improv comedy king Ron Osborne and Comedy Central guest comedian Ty Barnett. Drop in March 17–19 for an intensely animated set by Michael Malone, whose imaginative take on life through his View-Master has landed on stages across 27 states on the National Lampoon's Comedy Tour and NBC's Night Shift with Kevin Ferguson.
Hot Yoga Inc. likes to see you sweat. Not due to exhaustion or struggle, but because the perspiration caused by their classes encourages mental tranquility, muscle toning, and physical detoxification. Hot Yoga Inc. sends warmth deep into the skin and tissues instead of just decorating their studio with a bunch of Sun stickers. These higher temperatures help foster a greater range of motion as students of all skill levels follow a flowing series of yoga postures. Basic Hatha classes soothe the mind with a rush of endorphins while losing weight and improving flexibility, and Power Yoga pushes students with more intense workouts that build strength.
Within the century-old confines of Uptown Glassworks' warehouse, furnaces melt handfuls of kaleidoscopic frit into malleable shapes manipulated by a team of professional glass blowers. But these tradesmen don't just create works for the gallery; they also share their secrets with students in a variety of activities, from introductory courses on making beads and paperweights to advanced instruction that can be applied toward college credit or used to fix the pockmarked walls of glass houses.
During the shop's Blow-Your-Own sessions, participants apply color to clear, molten glass that has recently emerged from a 2,000-degree furnace, then blow their mixture into 1 of 20 different shapes. The next day, patrons can pick up their cooled and packaged creations, comparing their handiwork to the gallery's collection of products, which are made by more than 90 local and regional glass artists.