So, now that we’ve merged, what work will we do?
Everything we were doing before … and, where possible, even more for children and families!
Read more about the merger here
During the merger, both organizations committed to continuing all programs and initiatives. Over the past few months, the two staffs worked together to integrate and expand efforts. Here’s a look at some of the work we’ll be doing in 2014:
Advancing Racial Equity
Thrive works to eliminate the opportunity gap in Washington by advancing the state’s Racial Equity Theory of Change, which was collaboratively developed by partners, providers and parents throughout Washington and finalized earlier this year. The theory of change helps ensure the state Early Learning Plan is implemented with a racial equity lens, so that every child and family benefits. In 2014, Thrive will continue to facilitate a statewide Community of Practice; provide grants to six organizations and programs taking on this work; and develop a plan to help remove the barriers that prevent families from getting access to and benefits from home visiting.
Thrive’s grant programs are clearly defined funding strategies that are designed to advance the central programmatic work we undertake to achieve our mission. Thrive manages grants in four areas: Home Visiting, Advancing Racial Equity, Community Momentum and Thematic Grantmaking, which focuses on elevating STEM learning within the early learning community. In 2014, Thrive will manage a portfolio of more than 70 grants and contracts.
Through its administration of the state’s Home Visiting Services Account (HVSA), Thrive works to expand the availability of high-quality home visiting services across our state. We do this by raising private funds to leverage public dollars, and by providing technical assistance, training and support to ensure that those expanded services are high quality and effective. In 2014, Thrive will manage 51 grants or contracts, representing evidence-based and promising practices programs in communities statewide.
Parents are their children’s first and most important teachers. But many say they need some help making the most of this critical role. To help, Thrive leads a statewide messaging campaign, offers direct engagement opportunities based on specific themes and provides easy-to-use resources. With the help of partners throughout the state, we are able to reach and engage children, families and communities where they are, through people they trust and with relevant information and materials. In 2014, Thrive will continue the “Love. Talk. Play.” Campaign directed at families of infants and toddlers; the UNI: Portable Early Learning Lab, which currently focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning; and the “Getting School Ready” and “10 Simple Ways to Encourage Early Learning” publications.
Policy & Community Partnerships
A strong early learning system is built through strong partnerships at local, regional and state levels. In 2014, Thrive will continue to provide funding to the 10 Early Learning Regional Coalitions, which play an important role in coordinating and connecting resources and programs in their communities (including home visiting, WaKIDS Early Learning Collaboration and Early Achievers); getting information out to families about the importance of early learning; engaging harder to reach families and communities; and creating local advocates who take action to generate support for early learning at local and state levels. We are also proud to embrace and sustain the work of the First Peoples, First Steps Alliance and the Early Learning Public Library Partnership, coalitions that have been coordinated by the Foundation for Early Learning.