Now in its 19th year, School’s Out Washington’s annual Bridge Conference brings together school-age care providers, youth development professionals, leaders, community organizers, funders, and policy makers from across the country.

Attendees hear from thought-provoking presenters and learn new strategies to build strong programs and equitable systems for young people, in and out of school. Reflected in all aspects of the Bridge Conference are the values of equity, belonging, leadership, nourishment, change, innovation, and community. Our attendees and presenters represent the diverse communities we work with across the state. In 2021, for our second virtual conference, we will come together to celebrate, influence, and learn in community with the expanded learning field.

We gather to:
  • Engage with a diverse range of knowledge, people, and perspectives
  • Identify the ways that racial inequities impact youth, expanded learning opportunities, and educational outcomes
  • Experience a sense of belonging to nourish social connection and professional networking
  • Learn how to implement tangible practices that promote an equitable expanded learning opportunity ecosystem
  • Strive to recognize power dynamics throughout programs and systems and begin to strategize how to co-create stronger partnerships across sectors

2021 Bridge: From Seedlings to Stardust
Across time and cultures, humans have found comfort, guidance, and knowledge amongst the stars. Before we had the technology to tell us what was out there, we were grounded and deeply connected to this unknown we reached for it. The stars can be said to be our first home, the first dreamscape of humankind. We have only just begun our rupture – the shattering and deconstruction of—individual and collective realities. This change has brought exhaustion—with no clear path in sight. Yet, we cannot stifle ourselves in normalcy. 2021 Bridge: From Seedlings to Stardust dares us to dream and to pour into the tenaciousness of transformation. The seeds have been sown—now, how do we shape this change?

Systems Leader Cohort
For 2021, the Systems Leader Cohort will include a Pre-Conference on October 26 and a series of recommended workshops for funders, policymakers, and community leaders. This cohort will focus on advancing equity through a well-supported expanded learning system in this profound moment of change.

Bridge Conference Registrants: Once you register, participants will receive an email from Sched inviting you to create and/or log into your Sched account so you can create your personalized schedule and prepare to attend the event. Check out our Attendee Guidance Checklist for more info on "how" to show up to this virtual event or contact our Customer Service team at bridge@schoolsoutwashington.org if you have any challenges navigating the platform. 
Back To Schedule
Thursday, October 28 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Advancing Equity in Out-of-School Time Settings through Youth Focus Groups

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This interactive session invites direct service staff/volunteers, managers, and evaluators to engage in participatory, youth-focused research techniques and to begin thinking expansively about involving youth in program design and improvement.  
This session includes an interactive, skill-building exercise on how to conduct focus groups with youth that aim to identify contexts and barriers affecting accessibility, belonging, and inclusion within out-of-school time programs. Participants will learn methods for engaging young people in conversations about equity and methods for implementing youth feedback into programs. Participants will also understand how story board drawings can be used to interpret youth perspectives related to equity.
There will be an opportunity for reflection and discussion at the end of the session.

STARS Credit offered for live attendance or watching the recording of this session.

Session Survey​​​

avatar for Hannah Patterson (she/her)

Hannah Patterson (she/her)

Evaluation Manager, Camp Fire National Headquarters
Hannah manages research and evaluation efforts related to fulfilling Camp Fire’s Promise. She specializes in data-driven program improvement and works to organize and interpret information for the purpose of communicating Camp Fire’s impact. Previously, Hannah worked at Camp Fire... Read More →
avatar for Ben Matthews (they/them)

Ben Matthews (they/them)

DEI Specialist, Camp Fire National
Ben Matthews is and LGBTQ2S+ activist, speaker, and trainer. Ben has been involved with Camp Fire for 7 years, first as a volunteer, then as a program manager at Camp Fire Green Country in Tulsa, OK where they organized Oklahoma's first ever LGBTQ2S+ summer camp session in 2018. Ben... Read More →

Thursday October 28, 2021 1:30pm - 3:00pm PDT
Zoom- Meeting