Summer Program Funding

2021 Summer Program Fund

School’s Out Washington is partnering with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to develop and administer the Summer Program Fund—a statewide opportunity for summer programs serving young people ages 4—21 in Washington. 

Based on youth program providers’ input, we are moving quickly to make some funding available to support efforts this summer (2021), while planning for a second, more spacious, application cycle with larger funding ranges to support summer programming in 2022.

$1M will be invested in programs this summer through contracts ranging from $5,000—$25,000.  Approximately $4.5M will be available to 2022 summer programs through another application process that will open this fall.

The RFP is now closed for the 2021 Summer Program Fund

The RFP for this funding opportunity closed on July 7 at 5:00 p.m. Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by early August.

Questions? Email

2021 Summer Program Fund RFP

Key dates and details:

  • Applications are due on July 7, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Successful applicants will be notified by early August
  • Contract amounts will range from $5,000 to $25,000
  • Funded organizations will be required to complete their organizational and program profile in Elevate Washington and submit a short narrative report.

In order to be eligible, programs must:

  • Prioritize social connections among young people
  • Engage young people in physical and outdoor activities
  • Be in-person or mostly in-person (Some hybrid components or virtual participation are allowed)
  • Provide summer programming to children and/or youth (ages 4-21)

Nonprofit community-based organizations, including religious organizations, will be prioritized for this funding opportunity.  Small businesses and public agencies are eligible to apply.

Note—parks departments and school districts are not eligible for these funds.

Technical assistance

The Washington State Department of Commerce partners with a diverse Network of trusted organizations to provide culturally relevant assistance to small businesses and nonprofit organizations. 

Applicants are encouraged to contact one of the organizations listed on the Commerce Small Business Resiliency Network webpage if they need assistance in applying for 2021 Summer Program Funds.



The primary goal of the 2021 Summer Program Fund is to expand opportunities for young people furthest from educational justice to engage in enrichment programs this summer. Since spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has compromised the abilities of families, schools, and expanded learning organizations to fully and effectively meet the social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs of children and youth. Young people have been isolated by the limitations of virtual learning and families have struggled with childcare. 

In spite of hardships, expanded learning organizations have adapted their services to respond to the young people and families to whom they are deeply connected.  As the pandemic eases, these organizations are well positioned to offer summer 2021 programs within their communities. 

SOWA is conducting an equitable and accessible process that will strengthen diverse organizations to deliver high-quality summer programs and expand access in underserved communities. Funding decisions will consider targets established for serving priority youth populations and ensuring equitable geographic distribution of funds across Washington.

Note—another RFP will be released in the fall 2021 to fund summer 2022 programs.