School’s Out Washington is now accepting proposals for workshop presenters and facilitators for the 2021 Bridge Conference.

When: October 26, 27, 28, 29
RFP’s due by:
July 30

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 virtual workshop (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 From Seedlings to Stardust, we are looking for workshop proposals that help leaders and youth within programs and systems to: 

  • persist through challenges and change 
  • think expansively and have transformative experiences 
  • advocate and change policies and practices for equity 
  • be creative and critical thinkers 
  • build new partnerships and ways of doing the work together 
  • design programs that are responsive to community need and integral to community well-being

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 this PDF of the Workshop Proposal Form before completing the Google 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 April Miller, our Youth Program Quality Coach via her scheduling link. 
  5. For tips on completing the RFP, check out this instructional video. 
  6. 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 June 2, 2021. 
  • The deadline for proposal submissions is Friday, July 30, 2021. 
  • All applicants will be notified of the status of their proposal by Friday, August 20, 2021. 
  • If selected to present, you will be required to confirm your plans to present by September 3, 2021. 
  • If selected, we require all presenters to attend a virtual Presenter Orientation Meeting on Sept. 29, 4:30-6 p.m. or Oct. 1, 9-10:30 a.m. 
  • We will be hosting at least one virtual workshop in late summer or early fall on Virtual Training and Facilitation. 
  • The Bridge Conference will take place October 26-29, 2021 on a virtual platform. 

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 $250 per ticket) for the lead workshop presenter and your co-presenters 
  • Promotion of your session and organization through social media and our public-facing Conference agenda on Sched 
  • 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.  

2021 Bridge Conference: From Seedlings to Stardust: October 26-29 

Now in its 19th year, School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policymakers from across the country. Reflected in all aspects of the Bridge Conference are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishing, change, innovation, and community. In 2021, for our second virtual Conference, our attendees and presenters, who represent the diverse communities we serve across Washington, come together to celebrate, influence and learn in community with the expanded learning field.

We gather to:

  • engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives  
  • identify 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 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?

2021 EVENT THEME: From Seedlings to Stardust  

Across time and cultures, humans have found comfort, guidance, and knowledge amongst the stars. Before we had the technology to tell us what was out there, we were grounded and deeply connected to this unknown – we reached for it. The stars can be said to be our first home, the first dreamscape of humankind. 

We have only just begun our rupture – the shattering and deconstruction of individual and collective realities. This change has brought exhaustion – with no clear path in sight. Yet, we cannot stifle ourselves in normalcy. 2021 Bridge: From Seedlings to Stardust dares us to dream and to pour into the tenaciousness of transformation. The seeds have been sown – now, how do we shape this change? 

“Matter doesn’t disappear, it transforms. Energy is the same way. The Earth is layer upon layer of all that has existed, remembered by the dirt.” ― adrienne maree brown 

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ― Cynthia Occelli 

“We are stardust brought to life, then empowered by the universe to figure itself out—and we have only just begun.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson 

“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.” — Brené Brown 

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. 

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 90-minute workshops in each Period, your availability may influence our decision-making as we finalize our menu of workshops. For the workshops on October 28, we encourage you to think about if your workshop would be a better fit for C or D.

  • Wednesday, October 27, 12-1:30 p.m. PST Workshop Period A
  • Wednesday, October 27, 2:30-4 p.m. PST Workshop Period B
  • Thursday, October 28, 1:30-3 p.m. PST Workshop Period C (Management Focus)
  • Thursday, October 28, 6-7:30 p.m. PST Workshop Period D (Youth Worker Focus)
  • Friday, October 29, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. PST Workshop Period E

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.