School’s Out Washington (SOWA) works hard as an intermediary organization to support youth development both at the institutional and local level. A large part of our work is focused in supporting youth-serving organizations across Washington state in moving through cycles of continuous program quality improvement, using the Forum for Youth Investment’s Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) model. In this research-backed model, programs move through a high-touch experience of assessing their programs, setting goals, and then making intentional improvements before starting the cycle again with another assessment, which we refer to as the Assess-Plan-Improve (API) cycle. Knowing that the needs … [ ]
Author: Adriana Zazula
Best Starts for Kids (BSK) grantees had the opportunity to attend four different Youth Work Methods “Deep Dive” trainings over the past few months. The Youth Work Methods trainings are designed to give direct service staff practical skills that can be immediately implemented into programming and are directly connected to practices addressed in the Program Quality Assessment. The BSK team took the Methods training a step further by giving folks extra time to work through the content and materials and ask more questions in a more “deep dive” approach. The four trainings offered during the series were specifically chosen to … [ ]
The Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Expanded Learning initiative is underway! School’s Out Washington has received our first round of data from grantees. We’re excited to share the impact of this investment so far, alongside what we’re hearing from their perspectives in the field. After contracts were signed in July and August 2022, the 56 Expanded Learning grantees focused on launching programming, navigating new partnerships, new sites, and/or new curriculum in addition to diving into the Youth Program Quality Initiative. Despite the busy start to the school year, the BSK Expanded Learning cohort reached 3,848 youth from July-December 2022, with … [ ]
The Tacoma Art Museum (TAM)’ s mission is to “transform our communities by sharing art that inspires broader perspectives and cultivates a compassionate future.” TAM aligns with their mission for both young people and their families through after school and community-centered programs. A group of Museum Educators share their stories from the community and their passion for accessible art for all.
Whatcom and Skagit counties are known for their rich agriculture and breathtaking views of the North Cascades. However, access to its dense nature is often limited to those with the means to get outside. Starting in 2018, the Vamos Outdoors Project began their mission of “building community through connection to the land and access to the outdoors.” What, on the surface, appears to be a traditional sports program is also deeply committed to addressing the mental health and resource needs of migrant youth and their families. “All the programs, outdoor and in the classroom, are working towards the goal of … [ ]
According to a recent study by Afterschool Alliance, 80% of Washington parents agree that afterschool programs help young people to build positive relationships with caring adults and mentors. In the Renton Highlands, ALL IN Mentoring is doing their part to provide those meaningful opportunities with their mission to, “develop middle and high school aged youth holistically and see them thrive and bring change to our neighborhoods.” ALL IN programming includes an afterschool drop-in time for youth alongside mentoring opportunities. Executive Director, Lovell Davis, has been active in this work for over seven years. The organization relocated at the beginning of … [ ]