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Blog Category: Opinions

Refugee Support Services Funding In Washington At Risk

Posted under Opinions, Policy & Legislation

Refugee youth and families in Washington are currently at risk of losing access to critical services as our nation faces a crisis in supporting the unprecedented number of children fleeing violence in Central America. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed to move funding from current refugee programs in order to meet […]

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14 Ways to Write Better Grants

Posted under Opinions

At School’s Out Washington, we’ve been on both sides of the grant-writing process. We offer grants such as Feed Your Brain and Let’s Get Cookin’, but like any non-profit we also have to apply for grants. Here are a 14 tips for writing great grants that we’ve learned both as funders and grant writers. Make sure […]

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12 things you can do to Build Public Will around your summer program

Posted under Opinions

Momentum is growing in Washington State around summer learning and providing more support to increase access to quality summer learning opportunities.  Join our movement this summer to demonstrate to our local elected officials and decision makers  the importance of summer learning in keeping kids learning, healthy, engaged, and ready to return to school on track in the fall.

Check out these 12 things you can do to build public will for summer in your community.  These activities are engaging and fun for youth and families and raise awareness of your program while also building a stronger sense of community.  Do you have other suggestions? Please send them to Danielle Baer, SOWA’s Communications Manager.

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Voices from the Field: Reflections on Quality Improvement

Posted under Opinions, School's Out News

The best afterschool programs create safe, supportive, and productive environments for young people. The School Age Program Quality Initiative (SAPQI) is based on positive youth development research and is committed to improving the quality of interactions for young people with the highest needs.

As part of this initiative, programs conduct self-assessments using a tool developed by the Weikert Center for Youth Program Quality. Programs then use data to make sense of where their strengths and areas for improvement lie, and set goals tied to the observable measures in the assessment. SAPQI then supports programs in reaching those goals with on-site coaching and methods trainings.

The Community Day School Association (CDSA) based in Seattle has been a leader in this commitment. CDSA’s goal has been to create an organizational environment where quality is key, and youth are at the center of activities. The SAPQI is grounded in the belief that program staff are key to ensuring young people’s needs are met and learning is encouraged – creating spaces where youth can thrive. CDSA has been a trailblazer in this movement by launching the SAPQI at all nine of their sites – assessing, planning, and improving the experiences of youth across Seattle.

Below we hear directly from Darlene Guerrero, Director of Operations at CDSA, about their experience participating in SAPQI.


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