About the Grow Your Own Initiative

Grow Your Own banner with diverse group of educators working together

Grow Your Own initiatives strive to diversify the educator workforce by encouraging more Black, Indigenous and People of Color and multilingual members of our local communities to pursue careers in teaching.

Research shows that teachers of color have profound and positive impacts on young people’s ability to succeed and thrive, in school and in life. And yet in the Puget Sound region’s 35 school districts, where kids of color make up half the student population, almost 90% of teachers are white.

PSESD’s Grow Your Own Initiative draws on years of collaborative advocacy among local, regional and statewide educational leaders working together on community-rooted strategies to recruit, train, place, and retain educators of color. 

As our colleagues at the Washington State Professional Educators Standards Board (PESB) note:

“[Grow Your Own programs] dismantle institutional racism, work towards educational equity, and improve outcomes for all students.”

We need more Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and those who speak multiple languages in our schools. Having even one Black teacher increases a Black child’s chances of going to college.

All children benefit when they learn from teachers who reflect the rich diversity in their communities.