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 changing safety protocols, school closures and the creation of virtual learning strategies, and the profound trauma their youth, families, and staff teams experience. A spotlight is now on the unique and vital role our field plays within the landscape of our communities—it’s never been more apparent how much our work … [ ]

Vietnamese Friendship Association builds on the findings of their “research year” with BSK

Vietnamese Friendship Association (VFA) held its first Pride celebration at the Seattle World School this June. Students had rainbow temporary tattoos all over their faces and looked at posters showing Prides from around the world. The event was an opportunity for the newly-arrived immigrant and refugee middle and high school students served by the organization to have fun with each other and with the staff that they had built relationships with over the last school year. It was the first Pride event for many of them but it was also a first for VFA, who officially started serving middle schoolers … [ ]