Best Starts for Kids and the celebrations of 2.0 (so far)

In summer of 2022, School’s Out Washington launched the second iteration of the Best Starts for Kids (BSK) Expanded Learning initiative. We celebrated the distribution of over 16 million dollars in funding awarded across 62 different community programs throughout King County, and an in-depth guided experience of the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) process. Each incredible program provides high quality expanded learning opportunities for youth, ages 5-13, who are BIPOC and/or living in poverty in King County.   The 62 grantees hit the ground running with school and programs starting shortly after the funding announcement. The BSK Expanded Learning initiative is a … [ ]

Celebrating the 2018-2021 BSK Out-of-School Time Cohort

In 2018, SOWA implemented the first round of Best Starts for Kids (BSK) funding and support known as the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Initiative. 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. Grantees more than doubled the number of youth served to reach over 2,100 in their BSK Out-of-School Time programming in Fall 2021, according to Public Profit’s final evaluation. Some grantees dramatically expanded the number of youth they were able to serve, and other grantees created … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning Awardees Announced!

School’s Out Washington, in partnership with King County Best Starts for Kids (BSK), is excited to announce the BSK Expanded Learning cohort for 2022–2025! In total, 65 awardees will receive $16,102,303 in funding over the next three years. The BSK Expanded Learning initiative provides funding and resources for expanded learning providers across King County to increase access to high quality expanded learning opportunities for youth (ages 5–13) who are BIPOC and/or living in poverty. This is accomplished through two primary funding models:  BIPOC-led organizations that are embedded in culturally specific or cross-cultural communities of color Place-based collaboratives that are made … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning RFP is now open!

School’s Out Washington (SOWA), in partnership with Best Start for Kids (BSK), is seeking proposals for the 2022-2025 King County Best Starts for Kids Expanded Learning Initiative.  The RFP and application are available here. Proposals are due on Wednesday, April 27, 2022 by 11:59 PM. Investments in the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative will strengthen and increase expanded learning opportunities for King County young people (ages 5-13) who are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and/or living in poverty. Expanded learning provides young people with high-quality programming through a range of activities including academic enrichment, cultural and social development activities, … [ ]

“I did not expect to cry.” – King County youth workers feel the love at closing celebration

The Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time initiative continues to adapt to meet the needs of our region’s young people and has once again been extended. Current grant recipients will receive funding from January to June 2022, as gap coverage until the next round of Best Starts funding becomes available for application. “Wait, is this the first time we’re meeting in person?” “Look how long your hair is!” “The last time I saw you was literally years ago at this point…” “Wow, you’re so much taller than I expected!” Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time cohort members were gathering to … [ ]

Best Starts for Kids Virtual Open House

Interested in being part of the next iteration of Best Starts for Kids? Check out their upcoming virtual open house on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stay up-do-date by subscribing the Best Starts blog. Learn more about School’s Out Washington work on the 2018 – 2021 Out-of-School Time grant. Best Starts for Kids will host a virtual open house for existing and prospective community partners to learn more about the opportunities for funding in the first quarter of 2022. Way back in 2017, Best Start for Kids headed out on the road to spread the word about … [ ]