Apply to be a workshop presenter at Bridge Conference 2023

Our 2023 Bridge Conference workshop request for proposals process is now open! We are seeking proposals that offer a high-quality and compelling workshops, conference alignment and relevance, and racial equity alignment.  Our goal is to bring together presenters and participants of different identities, perspectives, and backgrounds from the expanded learning opportunities field. We welcome and encourage people who speak multiple languages to participate.  This is an opportunity to reflect on your strengths and expertise and present ideas to the youth development field. We are seeking presenters to lead engaging presentations and/or interactive workshops. We welcome and encourage people who speak multiple languages to participate.  … [ ]

Check out what’s new on Elevate Washington

Last year, SOWA worked to enhance the Elevate Washington data platform. If you’re not already familiar, Elevate is SOWA’s youth program data system and public directory. Providers can create and manage information profiles that are searchable via the program directory. The directory is a free, statewide resource that features camps, classes, and support programs for children and young people (ages 5 to 24). Providers who join also gain early access to information about funding opportunities and other resources for expanded learning professionals from SOWA and its partners—including funding. So what’s new? A more user friendly search tool and program detail … [ ]

Action alert: Funding earmarked for youth development is in jeopardy!

For several years, OSPI has channeled federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds to youth development through the Afterschool, Summer Program Fund, and Community-Based Organization (CBO) grants. Currently, more than 130 nonprofits and public agencies utilize this funding for afterschool and summer programs, mentoring, wrap-around services, and more.    Last week we learned that the  legislature is proposing to fund additional CBO and afterschool programs using these same ESSER funds.  However, these ESSER dollars have already been obligated by OSPI and are currently in contracts. This includes many youth development providers that received funding through the Community-Based Organization (CBO) … [ ]

2023 legislative session update: A setback and forward momentum

Our two bills (Senate Bill 5601 and House Bill 1386) passed out of their policy committees, but did not receive a vote in their respective budget committees. In addition to $50M in grants for program providers, our ask included small, but critical, state infrastructure investment to help the field deepen and sustain equitable outcomes for our youth. While we experienced  overwhelming engagement from both lawmakers and community advocates, we now understand that budget constraints stemming from a decrease in state revenue collections resulted in the end of our bills this session. So what do we take away from this? Our strength … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning Awardees Announced!

School’s Out Washington, in partnership with King County Best Starts for Kids (BSK), is excited to announce the BSK Expanded Learning cohort for 2022–2025! In total, 65 awardees will receive $16,102,303 in funding over the next three years. The BSK Expanded Learning initiative provides funding and resources for expanded learning providers across King County to increase access to high quality expanded learning opportunities for youth (ages 5–13) who are BIPOC and/or living in poverty. This is accomplished through two primary funding models:  BIPOC-led organizations that are embedded in culturally specific or cross-cultural communities of color Place-based collaboratives that are made … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning RFP is now open!

School’s Out Washington (SOWA), in partnership with Best Start for Kids (BSK), is seeking proposals for the 2022-2025 King County Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning Initiative.  The RFP and application are available here. Proposals are due on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 by 11:59 PM. Investments in the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative will strengthen and increase expanded learning opportunities for King County young people (ages 5-13) who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and/or living in poverty. Expanded learning provides young people with high-quality programming through a range of activities including academic enrichment, cultural and social development activities, … [ ]