Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue: Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time Grantee Profile
SOWA is excited to work with the many amazing organizations funded through the King County Best Starts for Kids Out-of-School Time (BSK OST) investment! These organizations, funded either as stand alone People of Color-Led organizations or Place-Based Partnerships, are all working hard to maximize their positive impact on King County youth.
Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, funded as one of the organizations involved in a Place-Based Partnership Grant.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF BELLEVUE
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue (BGC) is part of a Place-Based Partnership with the Bellevue School District (BSD), KidsQuest Children’s Museum, and the YMCA of Greater Seattle, serving McKinney-Vento youth. They are also a part of SOWA’s HELO network. BGC has had a longstanding presence in Bellevue, operating 13 sites for children ages 2 ½ to 19 including standalone clubs and partnerships with elementary schools, community centers, and public housing. They are one of the only Clubs to run a preschool, and have operated a standalone teen center for almost 30 years which makes them one of the first Clubs in the nation to do so. They have an additional standalone teen center, and a fieldhouse with one of the largest athletics programs of any club in the nation. They provided over 1 million dollars of scholarships last year which were available for use with any of their services.
BGC has been collaborating with BSD and KidsQuest for over a year, and were able to serve McKinney-Vento kids during the summer. With the BSK OST investment they are now able to serve more of these students, throughout the entire year. These funds also enabled them to expand services for McKinney-Vento youth beyond elementary school age, now up to 12 years old. BGC is also now able to access targeted professional development trainings in partnership with the district, including trauma-informed care and cultural responsiveness. Ultimately this means that BGC is able to serve more vulnerable youth, many of whom were on waitlists at all facilities during the school year but are now being prioritized.
Having formerly participated in YPQ, BGC is excited to receive SOWA’s training and coaching services at additional sites. They’re able to offer these trainings to new staff, share language, and streamline programs which ensures that everyone is one the same page. BGC is also grateful to receive funding with the Place-Based model, as their partnership was already working well together. Monetary constraints prevented them from being able to consistently host KidsQuest as drop-in partners (and KQ now serves Club sites year-round) or to further expand their collaborations. This partnership brings their community closer together, and elevates the reality of youth homelessness in Bellevue which people often don’t realize. Vulnerable youth are having their needs addressed, and services are expanding throughout the entire community.