Over the next two months, 19 state legislators across Washington will receive Crayon Awards in recognition of their outstanding work in helping more children access early learning opportunities. The work these legislators did over the past two years has made a real difference in the lives of young children.
Awardees were selected based on their work on early learning in the past two years: from protecting state investments in programs, to advocating for policy changes that increase the continuity of care for children. All 19 legislators share a common understanding of the role of the first five years of a child’s life, influencing their experiences in school, at work, with their families and in their communities.
The Early Learning Action Alliance (ELAA) is bestowing these honors. Convened by the Children’s Alliance, ELAA is a statewide coalition of organizations representing a diverse array of Washington nonprofits, professional associations, businesses and industries united by the belief that all children deserve to be prepared for school and a bright future.
The coalition is bestowing a Lifetime Achievement Award on retiring Senator Lisa Brown, of Spokane, for her long commitment to early learning. As the Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Brown has consistently and strongly prioritized early learning as a foundation for building strong communities across the state. In the last two years in particular, she has been a staunch protector of child care assistance for working families. In her legislative career, her leadership and persistence preserved and expanded opportunities for kids and economic stability for families.
Three other types of awards are given: Gold, Silver and Bronze Crayon Awards. Gold Crayon Award recipients are leaders who spearhead and champion efforts in early learning. Silver Crayon Award recipients are steadfast advocates who lend their voices and cast their votes for early learning issues. Recipients of the Bronze Crayon Award demonstrate promise as growing early learning leaders; we count on their rising support. See a full list of awardees.
We salute the work of these legislators in working to make Washington a great place to get a strong foundation for the rest of a young child’s life.
ELAA is partnering with regional early learning coalitions across the state to present Crayon Awards at local community events. Please join them and check back for event updates on the ELAA homepage, or contact Casey Osborn, our early learning policy associate, with questions: Casey[at]childrensalliance.org.