Monday, March 26, 2007

Eastside Cultural Navigator Update

Exciting news! In conjunction with the Indian Association of Western Washington, the Eastside Cultural Navigator Program will now be offering services at the Redmond site in Hindi and Gujarati as well!

This is the first sort of regular service to be offered to the South Asian community and we are pleased to be able to be a part of it. If you didn't know, King County has a large South Asian population concentrated on the Eastside and in the Kent/SeaTac area. We hope to be able to add services in Punjabi at the International Family Center - Kent in the near future.

For current sites, languages and hours for this program, click on this link.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

German Marshall Fund

So what is the German Marshall Fund, you ask? It is a nonpartisan public policy group dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the the US and Europe.

Today we hosted a group of visitors from across Europe who are here in Seattle to learn about policy issues that affect our community. They toured our new facility and learned about the many programs and services CISC provides to the local Asian community.

They were especially impressed with the work we do in bicultural identity development and promotion, and civic engagement and responsibility - just a small part of the many things CISC does in the community!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Eastside Cultural Navigator Program

In conjunction with the Eastside Refugee and Immigrant Coalition, CISC is proud to announce a new pilot program for the Eastside. The Eastside Cultural Navigator Program assists limited and non-English speaking individuals and families in accessing appropriate services and navigating through those service systems. This may include referral information, providing reference materials, completing application forms, limited interpretation and follow up, and family support services.

Four different service locations are at Crossroads Mini City Hall and Hopelink-Eastside Literacy in Bellevue, Family Resource Center in Redmond, and Peter Kirk Community Center in Kirkland. Services will be provided by bilingual/bicultural staff in Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Spanish, Vietnamese, and Russian.

For a map, service hours, and languages, click on this link. Click on the push pin for specific site information.

Or, you can contact Chor Phen Ng by phone at 206.624-5633 x 4131 or e-via mail at

Friday, March 09, 2007

Oops! One more

We knew we were forgetting something! Of course we had our annual New Year lunch for seniors and volunteers, which was held at New Kowloon Restaurant between the open house and Great Wall Mall event.

Over 300 seniors and volunteers enjoyed a delicious 10 course lunch with entertainment, prizes, and lots of raucous hilarity! The God of Wealth handed out lucky money to each guest, and all seniors took home a goodie bag full of noodles, sauces, cookies, tea, and much more.

Board President Mary Hsu greeted the crowd and 2 lively lions did their best to scare away all the evil spirits. Many thanks to the International Lion Dance Team, and especially their president who delayed discharge of his wife and newborn son just to perform for us!

Sunshine Garden seniors serenaded the crowd with beautiful song. And the highlight of the day was little Issac singing a New Year's song in Chinese much to the delight of all.

Lunar New Year... Continued

As if we hadn't celebrated enough, the ESL program this year held a new year's party for its students and volunteers. Over 200 people came and participated in this fun and exciting event. We all potlucked and were amazed at the variety and amount of food!

Two former students shared their experience taking (and passing) the naturalization exam last year and encouraged other students to keep on studying. In 2006, over 100 students were successful in passing the exam. Hooray for our new citizens!

And of course, everything had to be said 4 different times - in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese - to make sure even our beginning students were included and would know if they had won one of the lucky raffle prizes.

Next year promises to be even more successful. Can't wait for the party!
For more photos, go to

Great Wall Mall

News Flash! CISC is opening a new International Family Center in Kent at the Great Wall Mall! With support from mall management and the Lee Family Foundation, we will finally be able to better serve our south end neighbors. And they can avoid the drive into Seattle!

February 24-25 was the annual New Year Festival at Great Wall Mall. Proceeds from this event went to support the new International Family Center - Kent. We're pleased to have a new play and learn group on Monday mornings, and will be adding ESL classes, information and assistance, and more in the future.

For more information or to volunteer, contact Ida Lam at 206-624-5633 x 4103 or

Thursday, March 08, 2007

And What a Grand Opening it Was!

February 21, 2007 saw over 500 friends, supporters and honored guests at our new facility. Clients, former board members, volunteers, and funders all crowded into our new building and marveled at architecture, the spaciousness, and the light. What a contrast to our old offices!

CISC pioneer Lily Woo described the agency's history and talked about what it was like 35 years ago. What a long way we have come - from a grassroots group of high school and college volunteers with a folding table and chairs, to a professional organization with nearly 50 staff and a budget of $2 million.

The construction team was especially impressed to see what an impact their work has and will have on the community over the next 60 years. Yes, that's right, 60 years. That's how long our lease is, and we plan to take advantage of the very favorable terms and stability it affords us.

Major donors like Yale Wong, pictured here with his grandmother, whom he honored with a sponsorship of our reception area, were delighted to see their spaces completed and utilized by grateful staff, clients and volunteers.

Besides a short program and entertainment by our afterschool program kids, highlights of the day included a 30 foot long string of firecrackers, spirited lions dancing through the smoke, and of course, FOOD!

If you missed the big day, it's still not to late to come by and see for yourself. Just give Alaric a call and schedule a time to visit. You'll be amazed!

To see more photos, please visit: and