October 27, 2015
Celebrating Quality at the 2015 Bridge Conference

For the 13th year, School’s Out Washington hosted the Bridge Conference for afterschool and youth development professionals on October 19th-20th. Nearly 450 participants came to learn about the newest research and topics in the out-of-school time field and to reflect on how to facilitate learning and inspire curiosity in the young people they serve.

Each year, the Raikes Foundation offers a session to current Youth Program Quality Initiative (YPQI) grantees. This year’s session focused on social emotional learning (SEL) with a panel of distinguished experts including Dale Blyth, senior research fellow and consultant from the University of Minnesota, Haviland Rummel and Hannah Baptiste from Susan Crown Exchange, Jennifer Harris from the David P. Weikart Center and Jennifer Freed, co-executive director of AHA!, an afterschool program in Santa Barbara, California. YPQI grantees learned about the importance of fostering SEL skills in young people and the SEL Challenge led by Susan Crown Exchange and the David P. Weikart Center. The SEL Challenge has been working with 7 programs across the nation to explore the practices that best support youth in cultivating social and emotional skills in informal learning environments. Assessment tools and practice guides resulting from the SEL Challenge will be available in the coming year.

The Raikes Foundation also hosted a reception on the evening of October 19th to honor YPQI grantees that have made significant quality improvement progress in Spokane, King and Pierce counties by granting them the Pinnacle Award. Additionally, awards were given to programs that have scaled the YPQI process throughout their organizations and/or used innovative approaches to maintain a culture of continuous quality improvement. This year’s honored programs include:

Spokane County Pinnacle Award:

Odyssesy Youth Movement

King County Pinnacle Award:

KUOW RadioActive

Pierce County Pinnacle Award:

Metro Parks Tacoma

Awards for Dedication to Continuous Quality Improvement:  

College Access Now

Boys and Girls Clubs of King County

Coyote Central