Centering Joy—How Best Starts ensures King County youth are happy, healthy, safe and thriving

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 initiative, SOWA partners with organizations providing afterschool and summer programming to elementary and middle school age youth. Our cohort of providers prioritize the … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids  renewal  headed to the August 2021  ballot in King County! 

Holistic community support for youth and families. This is the overarching purpose of King County’s Best Starts for Kids Initiative. As we’ve seen with the inaugural Best Starts Out-of-School Time grant—led by School’s Out Washington—increasing the availability of high-quality, culturally relevant youth programs means that our region’s kids grow academically, socially, … [ ]

How literacy is changing lives and building community in Kent

Coalition for Refugees from Burma (CRB), based in Kent, knows that literacy is a vehicle that changes lives. Their programs provide support for immigrant and refugee communities across the age spectrum, always with an eye trained towards self-advocacy. Executive Director, Mona Han wants to work herself out of a job—a … [ ]

Best starts and best practices—how 2020 highlighted the importance of out-of-school time

In February 2020, the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Initiative (BSK OST) was heading into its final year of implementation. Then COVID hit, and communities across King County (and the world) were left scrambling to support each other through unimaginable challenges. Youth development workers navigated alarming funding cuts, rapidly … [ ]