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 … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids sees early impact in King County

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 … [ ]

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 … [ ]

Pierce County Out-of-Schooltime Leader to Join SOWA 

School’s Out Washington (SOWA) is thrilled to announce that Fahren Johnson will be joining SOWA as the new Strategy & Partnerships Director. Her first day in the new role will be January 3, 2023. This new senior leadership position is responsible for leading SOWA’s policy and systems-level efforts to advance equity for youth of color and youth in poverty through an equitable and high-quality expanded learning ecosystem in Washington state. In this role, Fahren will oversee strategic partnerships with SOWA’s state agency partners, lead SOWA’s expanded learning system-building strategy, and oversee SOWA’s Policy and Advocacy team working to strengthen our … [ ]

A Time to Give: SOWA’s Year-End Showcase

As we wrap up another whirlwind of a year, School’s Out Washington is grateful for all we’ve been able to accomplish. We hope our community will join us in support and celebration as we reach even higher to support expanded learning programs.   Join us!   Fill your heart with Community Spotlights. Each story shares the real, on-the-ground impact expanded learning programs play in the lives of young people across the state.   Learn and celebrate SOWA’s unique role and what we’ve brought to the field this year, including:   Make a donation! Some of our most critical work—like advocating for more funds for … [ ]

The Youth Development Strategy Table invites you to Regional Networking Meetings

This Fall the Youth Development Strategy Table (YDST) will be traveling around the state to hear from providers and stakeholders what their needs are to support youth and strategize how to increase state investments for the youth development field. The YDST is currently working on legislative priorities including the creation of a state agency home for the youth development field, long-term funding, and funding for programs. Join us to learn more about the priorities, add your input, and network with other youth development providers and stakeholders. We hope to see you there! City & Region Event Location Date & Time … [ ]