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15 King, Pierce & Spokane Youth Organizations Honored for Quality Programs

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

Congratulations to the 15 organizations that received an award from the Raikes Foundation for their high-quality youth programs. Many of the organizations attended the Bridge Conference and were honored at a special reception.  All of the organizations participate in the Youth Program Quality Initiative focused on improving program quality utilizing an assess, plan, improve model focused on impacting positive youth outcomes.

Read the full press release below announcing the awardees.  In addition, the International Examiner posted an article highlighting the Interim CDA program in Seattle.


SEATTLE, WA – October 28, 2014 – The Raikes Foundation today recognized 15 organizations in King, Pierce and Spokane counties for providing high quality out of school time programs to young people as part of its Youth Program Quality Initiative (YPQI).

The Youth Program Quality Initiative supports programs serving young people ages 10-18. It helps organizations and their staffs improve youth engagement, which in turn helps kids improve academic performance, develop social skills and avoid risky behaviors.

“Thousands of kids in Washington state participate in out of school time programs every day, but the quality of the programs and their staffs varies widely,” said Erin Kahn, director of the Raikes Foundation. “The Youth Program Quality Initiative raises the caliber of after school programs by improving the capacity of staff through data-driven professional development. When organizations understand what good looks like and have the tools to get there, quality rises and kids reap the benefits.”

Fourteen of the organizations were honored with a High Flier award for their programs reaching the highest bar of quality:

King County:

Pierce County:

Spokane County

“The Youth Program Quality Initiative provides thorough training that helps the Community for Youth staff do its job better,” said Peter Retzlaff, executive director of Community for Youth. “It teaches us how to make our interactions with young people more constructive and enjoyable and helps young people get more out of our program.”

The Youth Program Quality Initiative provides up to three years of support for organizations selected through a competitive manner. Grants of $5,000 are awarded to selected organizations for participation in the YPQI process that includes: participation in a peer learning community/cohort; completion of a program quality assessment using both a self-assessment and external assessors; staff training in youth development best practices; and onsite coaching and technical assistance.

The initiative also provides an important avenue for programs to meet the Washington State Quality Standards for Afterschool & Youth Development Programs, which were recently established as the common definition of quality statewide and are fully aligned to the initiative’s focus areas.

Three of the 15 organizations were given Pinnacle awards for their commitment to the continuous quality improvement of their after-school programs, and will receive $500 grants to support ongoing staff professional development. These organizations are:

“When our program’s quality goes up, kids benefit,” said Sherry Barrett, executive director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County. “Substantial research confirms that high quality youth development programs can make a positive difference in student achievement, social and civic skills and risk reduction. The key is how to improve quality. YPQI helps us do just that.”


Karen Waters



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