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. More than $16M is being 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.
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About the awardees
Funded organizations are expanded learning programs operating in King County that serve young people (ages 5-13) who are BIPOC and/or living in poverty. Small nonprofits and community-based organizations were encouraged to submit proposals.
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.
About the funding process
SOWA relies on a peer review process for reviewing and scoring applications. Among the 23 peer reviewers who reviewed BSK Expanded Learning applications, 87% identify as BIPOC and 96% share identities and/or lived experience with the priority populations of youth served. After participating in an orientation and anti-bias training, reviewers independently reviewed and scored a subset of applications using a scoring rubric aligned to funding priorities outlined in the RFP. Small groups then met to discuss and come to consensus on a score for each application. SOWA recommended high-scoring applications for funding to King County, with added consideration for licensed childcare programs, geographic equity, and representation of target populations of youth served. Final decisions were made by King County Best Starts for Kids.