School’s Out Washington is now accepting proposals for workshop presenters and facilitators for the 2022 Bridge Conference.

When: October 24-25
Greater Tacoma Convention Center
RFP’s due by:
July 20

RFP application form

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. 

We are seeking proposals that offer a high-quality and compelling workshops (e.g. clarity of title, description, style, and delivery), conference alignment and relevance (with theme and event learning objectives), and racial equity alignment. 

We will provide a balanced, diverse program including a majority of presenters identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color and workshops from across Washington state, and an array of choices and topics for attendees with different roles and levels of experience and expertise. As an organization, we are exploring ways to break down barriers around language and are open to multilingual opportunities. English grammar is not part of our selection criteria. 

With this year’s theme of Illuminating Becoming, we are looking for workshop proposals that help leaders and youth within programs and systems to: 

  • Understand stages of child and adolescent development (including what we know now that we didn’t know 5-10 years ago), and how to apply this knowledge to programs and systems 
  • Align employee, program, and organizational practices with values 
  • Cultivate community care for youth and youth workers 
  • Incorporate holistic practices that support our humanity, from how to heal and manage grief to how to celebrate and play together 
  • Lead an individual, organization, or system through transformational change 
  • Design, build, or expand innovative programs and partnerships situated within ecosystems of support 

We look forward to reviewing your proposal and thank you for your commitment to the field! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the process for submitting a Workshop Proposal?

The list below is designed to support you through the RFP application process. We recommend following the steps outlined below:  

  1. Review the Frequently Asked Questions below. 
  2. Review the PDF of the Workshop Proposal Form before completing the form. 
  3. Sign up for SOWA emails to receive announcements
  4. If you would like support with the RFP application or workshop development, please make an appointment for RFP Application/Workshop Development with Carlee Hoover.
  5. Complete and submit the RFP using this form. 

Q: What are some important dates in the proposal process?

  • The Request for Workshop Proposals is being released on May 25, 2022.
  • The deadline for proposal submissions is Wednesday, July 20, 2022. 
  • All applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by Friday, August 19, 2022. 
  • If selected to present, you will be required to confirm your plans to present by September 2, 2022. 
  • If selected, we require all presenters to attend a virtual Presenter Orientation Meeting on Sept. 27, 4:30-6 p.m. PST or Sept. 30, 9-10:30 a.m. PST. 
  • The Bridge Conference will take place October 24-25, 2022 at Greater Tacoma Convention Center and Marriott Tacoma Downtown in Tacoma, WA. 

Q: What are some benefits of presenting at the Bridge Conference?

  • Share your expertise with leaders in the expanded learning opportunity field from Washington State and beyond 
  • Opportunity for professional development via our offer of complimentary Bridge registration (value of $550 per ticket) for the lead workshop presenter 
  • Promotion of your session and organization through social media and our public-facing Conference agenda on Sched 
  • Share your contact information with attendees who may be interested in inviting you to share your expertise with their own organizations 
  • Receive workshop survey feedback to support your development as a presenter, with the potential for a LinkedIn testimonial 
  • Opportunity to join our list of potential trainers for paid contracts with School’s Out Washington 

Q: How can I prepare a workshop that aligns with the Bridge Conference?

Please review the event description and learning objectives.  

2022 Bridge Conference: Illuminating Becoming: October 24-25 

Now in its 20th year, School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policy makers from across the country. Reflected in all aspects of the Bridge Conference are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishing, change, innovation, and community. Our attendees and presenters represent the diverse communities we work with across the state.

We gather to:  

  • engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives  
  • Identify and address the ways that racial inequities impact youth, expanded learning opportunities, and educational outcomes  
  • experience a sense of belonging to nourish social connection and professional networking 
  • learn how to implement tangible practices that promote high quality programs and an equitable expanded learning opportunity ecosystem 
  • strive to recognize power dynamics throughout programs and systems and begin to strategize how to co-create stronger partnerships across sectors

Q: What is this year’s Bridge theme?

2022 EVENT THEME: Illuminating Becoming 

What does it look like to embody the past, present, and future? How do we hold our collective learning and embrace with honesty who we are and where we are going? We are in the process of becoming what we imagined. Our 2022 Bridge Theme, Illuminating Becoming, invites us to come together and celebrate our continued growth. Through rest, connection, and joy, we find the courage and inspiration to live our values and build the communities our youth – and we – deserve. 

“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” Brené Brown

“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”Michelle Obama

“We came whirling out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust…. The stars made a circle, and in the middle, we dance.” Rumi

“…here on this bridge between starshine and clay, my one hand holding tight my other hand; come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.”Lucille Clifton

Q: What are examples of past workshop titles and descriptions?

Q: What are examples of topics that would fit into each of the Conference Strands?

  • Race and EquityWhile we are seeking sessions across all strands that incorporate race and equity, this strand is focused on sessions where topics of race and/or equity are the focus. Examples include the intersections of race and _____ (e.g. class, disabilities, access to food and housing, adultism, racial literacy, white privilege, structural racism, social justice, or sex, gender, gender identity, or supporting specific populations such as immigrant and refugee youth and families).
  • Youth Development ProgrammingWhat do high-quality afterschool and summer programs for youth, especially low-income youth and youth of color, look like? What practices, curriculum, and environments will provide the opportunities youth deserve in order to thrive? Examples include cultural responsivenesssocial and emotional learning, trauma-informed and restorative practices, STEM, sense of belonging, relationshipsidentity development, creativity, safety and wellness, youth leadership and engagement, and program development.
  • Capacity and Systems BuildingWhat does it look like to invest in our staff and our field? How do we strengthen the formal systems (policies, institutional practices, and funding) and the informal and cultural systems (communities of practice, beliefs, and youth and family voice) to advance equity? Examples include practice and policy change that promote racial equity within organizations; staff and volunteer development; leadership and management practicesfundraisingworkforce developmentAdvocacy; research and evaluation; assessment, planning, and improvement; and connections between family, school, and community.
  • Emerging Issues: What does the future of youth development look like? How do we reimagine our education and youth development systems to build an equitable expanded learning opportunity system for all? Examples include youth activism, creative or restorative justice, youth voice, aligning actions with organizational values, or shared power in cross-sector partnerships. 
  • Multi-Sector Partnerships & Collaboration: What does it look like to build strong partnerships in youth development and education that last over time? What types of partnerships, and the way the people and organizations within them work together, help us build a more equitable expanded learning opportunity system? Examples include sharing power in cross-sector partnerships, managing the effects of turnover in partnership relationships, authentic partnerships with youth and families, applying community centric fundraising principles, and seeking funding for cross-sector partnerships. 
  • Pierce County Spotlight: What practices, programs, and system-building initiatives are taking place in Pierce County? What solutions have been found to meet the challenges our sector faces? Our Conference is taking place in a new location this year, Pierce County, with a rich ecosystem of expanded learning and youth development providers. This strand will highlight presenters doing work in this region. 

Q: What times are available to present a workshop?

When submitting a proposal, we will ask you to indicate which days you are available to present at the conference. Because there are a limited number of workshops in each Period, your availability may influence our decision-making as we finalize our menu of workshops. Please note that there is only one period when 3-hour sessions will be offered (Period D).


  • Monday, October 24, 10:15 a.m.-11:45 p.m. (90 minute session), Workshop Period A 
  • Monday, October 24, 1:15-2:45 p.m. (90-minute session), Workshop Period B 
  • Monday, October 24, 3:15-4:45 p.m. (90-minute session), Workshop Period C 
  • Monday, October 24, 1:15-4:15 p.m. (3-hour session), Workshop Period D 
  • Tuesday, October 25, 9-10:30 a.m. (90-minute session), Workshop Period E 
  • Tuesday, October 25, 10:50 a.m.-12:20 p.m. (90-minute session), Workshop Period F 
  • Tuesday, October 25, 2:15-3:45 p.m. (90-minute session), Workshop Period G 

Q: How many people can I expect in my session and what will the room layout be?

The maximum number of people per room will vary, from about 32 to 80. We cannot estimate exactly how many people to expect in your assigned room, as so many factors influence how many people choose each session. Rooms may be set up with round tables or school room or theatre style.

Q: What is the workshop selection criteria?

SOWA will prioritize the following criteria in the workshop selection process: high quality and compelling workshop (e.g. clarity of title, description, style and delivery), conference alignment and relevance (with theme and event learning objectives), racial equity alignment, and providing a balanced, diverse program including a majority of presenters identifying as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color and workshops from across Washington state, and an array of choices and topics for attendees with different roles and levels of experience and expertise. English grammar is not part of our criteria.   

Q: What are SOWA’s expectations of Presenters?

Required Presenter Orientation: If selected, all presenters are required to attend the Presenter Orientation meeting via Zoom on one of the following days/times:   

  • 9/27/22, 4:30 pm-6:00 pm PST  
  • 9/30/22, 10 am-11:30 am PST  

Room Host & Pre-Workshop Check-In: Presenters must arrive 30 minutes prior to their workshop start time, check in at registration, and check in with the room host at the assigned room at least 20 minutes prior to session start time.  

Complimentary Registration: We encourage you to attend the rest of the Bridge Conference and offer 1 complimentary registration (value of $550) to each presenting team selected through the RFP. Co- presenters are welcome to purchase a ticket if they wish to attend. If you are selected, you will receive information about how to register as a presenter and we strongly encourage you to register at that time in order to reserve your spot.  

Products: We encourage you to share free resources, tools, curriculum, etc. in your workshop session. If you are interested in promoting a product or service that is not free or widely available to the public, we offer you the opportunity to become a sponsor or exhibitor for Bridge. Please see our current Bridge website for more information.

Photos & Video: School’s Out Washington may take photos and video of the 2022 Bridge Conference, including speakers, attendees, and other activities to use in marketing and other materials. Conference attendees waive any rights and any claims regarding the taking and publishing of such photos, video, etc.  

Important Dates & Timeline:  

  • The deadline for proposal submissions is July 20, 2022.  
  • All applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by August 19, 2022.  
  • If selected to present, you will be required to confirm your plans to present September 2, 2022. 

Q: Who can I reach out to if I have more questions?

If you have specific questions related to the workshop proposal, please email our team at or visit our Bridge website for more information.

Q: What questions do you ask in the Workshop Proposal form?

Before you complete the Proposal Form, please view this PDF to review the full list of the questions we ask.