Community of dream makers

An end of the year message from our CEO, Elizabeth Whitford.

As we come to the end of another unprecedented year, I am proud of how School’s Out Washington has been able to support and strengthen expanded learning staff and programs.

Communities across the state looked to SOWA to drive equitable funding, accessible professional learning, and supports to help them bring high quality, life-changing programs to young people. Modeling humanness and responsiveness, our incredible staff answered that call when the field needed us most. Below are just some highlights of what we were able to make happen together.

Reasons to celebrate

  • $23 million granted to culturally responsive programs by SOWA in 2020-2021. Through all of our initiatives, we drive funding to culturally responsive programs to advance equity and opportunity for young people. We focus on expanding access to expanded learning programs that predominantly serve BIPOC, LGBTQ, migrant/immigrant, youth experiencing homelessness, and youth in poverty.
  • 193 free workshops for expanded learning professionals, centering racial equity, social emotional skills, and program quality.
  • 1,084 hours of coaching giving front line youth workers and program leaders one-on-one support, leadership development, and invaluable mentoring that centers their strengths, knowledge, and lived experiences.
  • Huge advocacy wins, including $57 million in funding for expanded learning and the formation of a state Youth Development Workgroup, charged with creating recommendations for a sustainable youth development funding program.

Thank you for supporting equitable expanded learning opportunities for young people.

With gratitude,

Elizabeth Whitford, CEO