A core tenant of the Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Investment (BSK OST) is that in order for young people to thrive, the youth programs they participate in need to be high-quality.
We also know communities of color, low-income communities, and specific regions within King County face significant barriers accessing support to grow into their full potential. School’s Out Washington now has the data to demonstrate our work to provide support to BSK OST grantees, and the impact that is having on young people in the inaugural year of this initiative!
In 2018, 34 organizations spanning 33 individual sites received a total of $2,778,516.49 in Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time funding. BSK OST saw 2,699 enrollments in school-year programming and served 1,189 youth in summer programming. Kids had access to opportunities like hip-hop music production, academic support, robotics, English, Spanish, and Arabic language instruction, and cooking classes. In total, BSK OST programs served young people for 23,179 hours– which is almost 1,000 days of engagement! According to site-level data, 31 percent of youth served by the initiative were English Language Learners, 88 percent were low income, and 4 percent were homeless (note: some sites did not collect data for these areas). The racial and/or ethnic demographics of youth served were also notable:
This data verifies that the intention of the funding strategies is playing out on the ground and that communities which are under-resourced are receiving targeted supports. This includes not only young people but also their communities at large.
Staff members were also directly served and supported by SOWA coaches, trainers, and assessors. We were able to provide 167 staff with 80 hours of professional development trainings such as Data & Evaluation, Structural Racism, Planning & Reflection, Partnership Best Practices, and Transgender Inclusiveness. Based on our post-training evaluations:
- 91% were satisfied with training;
- 90% learned new knowledge or skills; and
- 93% plan to apply what they learned to their work.
Our program quality coaches provided 395 hours of individualized support to organizations, from one-on-one work with managers and directors, or front-line staff, to whole program teams, and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from sites.
Sites also received a total of 75 school-year assessments by folks trained in the Social Emotional Learning Program Quality Assessment tool. Nearly 90 percent of programs who were assessed in both the fall and spring had gains in one or more of their chosen areas of focus. Overall, we also saw gains in the Supportive Environment and Interaction domains. Based on the data gathered in these assessment, we’ve been able to quantify the impact of SOWA’s quality intervention has had on our grantees. We’re excited to see the meaningful growth in programs, and it’s only the first year! We also did 6 summer assessments, and are eager to see how this summer’s scores look in comparison.