2022—2025 King County Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning Initiative

Investing in youth programs that are grounded in community.

The King County Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Expanded Learning Initiative channels resources to providers in communities across King County that are working to improve their practices and provide afterschool and summer programming for Black, Indigenous and youth of color (BIPOC) and youth in poverty to flourish outside of the school day. 

The RFP process is now closed. Funding decisions will be announced in June.

Background and approach

In 2018, SOWA implemented the first round of BSK funding and supports. We partnered with 32 organizations that provide access to consistent, high-quality, and culturally relevant summer and afterschool programming, infusing more than $12 million to underserved communities across King County.

SOWA is now leading and implementing the next cycle of funding through the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative. Approximately $15,950,000 will be invested over 3 years as we continue the two funding models from the first levy—BIPOC-Led Organizations and Place-Based Collaboratives. Learn more about the funding models.

Questions? Email: expandedlearning@schoolsoutwashington.org

About the grantees

This funding opportunity is for expanded learning programs operating in King County that serve young people (ages 5-13) who are BIPOC and/or living in poverty. The following types of small nonprofits and community-based organizations were encouraged to submit proposals:

  • Nonprofit, religious, and community-based organizations
  • Tribes and tribal organizations
  • Public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County
  • Licensed school-age care providers

Expanded learning programs offer a range of experiences and support including educational enrichment, cultural and social development activities, recreation, physical activity and health promotion, visual and performing arts, tutoring and homework services, and leadership skills.