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King County Best Starts for Kids Quality Out-of-School Time Implementation Plan

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under Afterschool and Summer News, School's Out News

By Lex Gavin, BSK Program Quality Coordinator

King County’s Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Process Summary and Initial Implementation Plan is now out and available, which means all of your burning questions about how the BSK OST program was designed, how RFPs were solicited, and how grantees were awarded funds can be answered!

BSK aims to achieve three over-arching goals, and the OST programs relate to one specifically: King County is a place where everyone has equitable opportunities to be safe and healthy as they progress through childhood, building academic and life skills to be thriving members of their communities.

In order to make this goal a reality, King County partnered with SOWA given our long-standing position as an intermediary in and leader of the Out-of-School Time realm. People of Color-Led organizations and Place-Based Partnerships of organizations emerged as the two funding strategies, and grant recipients would be divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2 depending on their organizational capacity and program timeline.

Focus groups were conducted across the county with community members in order to have their input on the nascent process. Then, when the RFPs went out, technical assistance was offered to organizations in a continued effort to promote equitable access to funds (and to build organizational capacity of all applicants, which is itself an equity matter).

SOWA is now well into the implementation phase, which started in January of 2018. We are providing quality supports along with performance measurement and evaluation of all grantees, and seek to collect data which answers three fundamental questions of grant recipients: How much did we do? How well did we do it? Is anyone better off?

I’m confident that with the Youth Program Quality strategies and administrative support offered by SOWA, the youth of King County will indeed be better off for this investment.

 

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