Adopt a School

Sunrise Outreach Center is all about transforming a community to be the best it can be.

What would Yakima County look like if all our schools were fully resourced, with every student fully engaged in learning and equipped with tools to succeed? What would change in the Yakima Valley if more students graduated and got a degree or trade skill? 

These are the questions that keep us up at night. When we look at local graduation rates, gang recruitment, student homelessness, and the effects of poverty, we can’t help but do something about it.

One of the best ways to transform a community is by empowering its future leaders – our children. And we think churches can do something about it. Our Adopt-a-School program connects the resources of the local faith community to the needs of local schools. By meeting needs expressed by Yakima School District administration at the school level, we aim to break cycles of inter-generational poverty, prevent gang recruitment, and help children thrive in grades K-12.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers do whatever the school needs most:

  • read to 1st-3rd graders to improve literacy
  • tutor elementary students during and after-school
  • mentor middle & high school students
  • provide school supplies to teachers
  • hold “Back to School” backpack giveaways
  • host teacher appreciation events
  • provide classes to parents (i.e. English Language Learning, citizenship, parenting)
  • host after-school programs & summer camps
  • support PTA events & fundraisers
  • chaperone field trips
  • supply weekend backpack food programs

Our Impact

Since its inception in 2015, our Adopt-a-School program has helped 26 (out of 298) Yakima County churches “adopt” 18 (out of 22) schools in the Yakima School District, with churches sending volunteers to work in those schools. Our goal is to ultimately serve all 15 Yakima County school districts, reaching potentially 52,441 students.

Our Program Coordinator Jason Haughin helps to connect churches with schools, provides resources and training to churches, and serves as a liaison with school staff and administration. Our Adopt-a-School Handbook, created in collaboration with the Yakima School District provides the framework for this relationship, volunteer guidelines, and best practices.

During Summer 2018 we held a 3-week STEAM summer camp

Stay Connected and Get involved

Want to learn more?

Contact Christin Garcia at or call the Sunrise Outreach office at (509) 225-9310.

Follow Us on Facebook  –  Adopt-a-School Yakima

In August 2018, we completed our pilot 3-week summer STEAM camp, funded in part by the Yakima Valley Community Foundation.

WHO: 24 students, ages 5-12, mostly from the Yakima School District

WHAT: The 3-week summer camp was totally free for parents and students explored weekly themes of music, food, and architecture through STEAM-based activities and crafts. (STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)

WHEN: Monday-Friday, 2-5pm, from July 16 – August 3, 2018

WHERE: First Baptist Comunidad Cristiana Church of Yakima (112 N. Pierce Avenue, Yakima, 98902)

WHY:  The purpose of our summer STEAM day-camp is to impact local children:

  • To provide healthy snacks during the summer months when school cafeterias are closed
  • To provide a safe place for students to have fun during the summer
  • To prevent academic “summer slide” and keep children safe during the summer
  • To spark interest in STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)