March 5, 2018

Learning doesn’t end when the school bell rings—so why should our investment in Washington’s students stop at the end of the school day?

New research from Washington state reiterates the benefits of high-quality expanded learning opportunities – including afterschool and summer learning programs – on students’ development and academic achievement.

Exactly how impactful are high-quality afterschool programs on kids’ success?

Last year, we partnered with the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and researchers from the American Institutes for Research to answer that question. Here’s what we found based on a survey of 11 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs serving students in grades 4 through 9 across the state:

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October 10, 2017

New results from the state’s Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Quality Initiative, co-funded by the Raikes Foundation, show that our state is on the right path to creating a first-in-the-nation quality expanded learning system for K-12 students.

Working with 50 expanded learning programs across King, Pierce, Spokane, and Walla Walla counties, the initiative demonstrated that when we support afterschool and summer learning programs with the right resources and training, they can deliver high-quality, transformative programming to young people.

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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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