Community Momentum: Announcing $875,000 to Early Learning Coalitions Statewide

 
At age 5, our state’s Community Momentum work has reached an important milestone. Just like a kindergartner, we have grown and developed so quickly. And just like a kindergartner, we see some key learnings and connections in place, but we’ll need to continue to rely on others’ support and partnership to help us achieve success.
 
As part of the Community Momentum funding from Thrive by Five Washington, the regional coalitions continue important system-building work while also going deeper into key programmatic areas. This is part of Thrive’s Community Momentum grantmaking initiative.
 
There were three areas of focus for the Community Momentum plans this year: family engagement, advocacy and racial equity. The coalitions were encouraged to create plans that infused every programmatic area with those three components.
 
That includes home visiting, for which the coalitions each received $17,500 in dedicated funding. Some coalitions plan to use these funds to create professional development, training or networking opportunities for home visitors in their regions. Others are working on referral networks or regional scans of services.
 
Each coalition also receives $20,000 in dedicated funding for its involvement in WaKIDS Early Learning Collaboration (ELC). Through the WaKIDS ELC the coalitions play a key role in connecting early learning providers to the teachers in the K-12 system, piloting Kindergarten transition activities, and promoting early numeracy in their community. It’s important for those groups to share information that will lead to a smoother transition for children and families.
 
I’m impressed with how the coalitions continue to innovate and evolve to best serve families throughout the state. They are showing nimbleness in their approaches with family engagement, as well as increasing the emphasis on their policy work. It reinforces for me the importance of investing in this regional structure. Their voice and their ideas are helping build a great foundation for our early learning system in Washington.
 

 
The coalitions each receive Community Momentum funds, but the amount is competitive based on each coalition’s abilities to align to the state Early Learning Plan and the Community Momentum priorities. Each proposal is peer-reviewed for the fit and feasibility of its plans to represent the communities in its region, ability to influence the development of the early learning system and work toward eliminating the opportunity gap for children of color in our state.
 
Coalition awards

 
Funding for Community Momentum comes from state, federal and private sources. The Department of Early Learning partners with Thrive to fund and support the coalition work.
 
 

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