BSK Grantees Shine in Annual Reports
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
We’re officially at the half-way point of the inaugural Best Starts for Kids Out of School Time (BSK OST) initiative! This means that meaningful, in-depth storytelling is possible for the first whole year of our work. The cover alone of SOWA’s 2018 Annual Report is chock-full of BSK folks with youth from Techbridge Girls, Highlands Neighborhood Center in Renton, and the Birch Creek Youth Center in Kent. There’s a profile of the Highlands Collaborative (which consists of the City of Renton, Techbridge Girls, and Centro Rendu of St. Vincent de Paul), which has seen a remarkable transformation as a direct result of the BSK OST funding.
“The common thread through all the great things happening at Highlands is in-depth program quality training, and coaching from School’s Out Washington. This support is given to all Best Starts Out-of-School Time partners and is rooted in promoting social and emotional learning so kids can better manage their moods, set goals, make responsible decisions, and build stronger relationships-- with teachers and classmates, family and friends. We used to deal with symptoms. Now we go for the cure," says Tom Puthoff, who has coordinated programs at Highlands for 25 years.
There are other great photos of BSK programs, and data highlights-- like the fact that nine out of 10 BSK grantees made improvements in at least one of their goal areas in the first year! The celebrations continue in King County’s Best Starts for Kids Annual Report, which includes a spotlight on BSK grantee Empowering Youth and Families Outreach.
“The existing local programs were not affordable. And they were not very diverse. Our kids need to see people they can relate to. They need to see themselves ... and think ‘I can do that.’ [The teachers and mentors] really invest in your child, and in trying to help your child grow and mature. You’re not going to find that in most organizations. Daiya is more open, advocating for herself. She’s learned to express herself better. She’s a lot more outgoing. She’s more explorative. Just to see her face when I drop her off or I pick her up — it’s always good.” -- Daiya’s mom Naquiai on the importance of POC-Led organizations.
Be sure to check out both of these reports to learn more about the great work happening to support youth in our county and our state!
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