What’s next for Best Starts for Kids?

The Best Starts for Kids Initiative was renewed by King County voters, what happens now? How does community voice shape the next cycle of the County’s work to ensure that all of our children and families are happy, healthy, safe, and thriving? How can local program providers stay in the … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids passes levy vote

In August 2021, King County residents voted to renew the Best Starts for Kids Initiative. Since 2018, Schools Out Washington has partnered with King County to steward the Out-of-School Time grant, distributing funding to providers across the county and leading them through our Program Quality Improvement process. We are proud … [ ]

What does it mean to thrive?

The Best Starts for Kids initiative is designed to ensure that all young people in King County are happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. In the Out-of-School Time strategy, SOWA partners with organizations providing afterschool and summer programming to elementary and middle school age youth. Supporting youth to thrive is what … [ ]

How Life Enrichment Group lives up to its name

Life Enrichment Group has been part of the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time initiative since 2018. The Rainier Beach-based organization provides academic services to Black youth and youth of color, offering middle and high schoolers academic support, enrichment activities, and college and career exploration.  Every year, Life Enrichment Group (LEG) hosts a tour of historically Black colleges and universities for high school students. The … [ ]

“This program is the heartbeat”—What New Futures means for the Yishak family

New Futures (of Southwest Youth and Family Services) has been part of the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time initiative since 2018, in collaboration with Arts Corps and Geeking Out Kids of Color. The partnership provides arts education, STEM programming, academic support, and enrichment activities at four housing communities in King County.  New … [ ]

What Bellevue Boys and Girls Club means to one family—a parent testimonial

Boys and Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGCB) has been part of the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time initiative since 2018, in collaboration with the Bellevue School District, KidsQuest Children’s Museum, and the Bellevue YMCA. The partnership coordinates services primarily for homeless and recently transitioned families. BGCB remained open throughout the pandemic to provide free and low-cost childcare for essential workers. Below is a parent’s perspective of the … [ ]