July 14, 2017
Students in an expanded learning program

Learning doesn’t stop when the school bell rings.

School’s Out Washington recently launched its Youth Program Registry, the nation’s first database of expanded learning opportunities and youth development professionals. The registry launch is an exciting moment for afterschool and summer learning programs in the state because improved data will be a huge boon to this crucial, growing field of work.  The Youth Program Registry is also the newest component of the Sparkwind Movement, a campaign to decrease Washington State’s opportunity gap by strengthening expanded learning opportunities throughout the state.

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May 23, 2017
Children working in a garden

Last summer I was elated to find a Washington Post headline asking, “Are Summer Camps the Next Frontier in Helping Disadvantaged Students Catch up?”. Educators have long pointed to the ways in which additional learning opportunities before and after school, as well as during the summer, expand horizons for vulnerable students and create needed continuity in their development.

Fast forward a few months however, and the largest federal program supporting expanded learning opportunities (ELO) for kids from low-income communities is now on the chopping block.

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