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By |September 29th, 2016|Awards & Accolades, News|

MEDIA RELEASE: Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self honored for work to expand access to high-quality early learning


Mount Vernon, Washington—Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self was honored for their commitment to the first five years of a child’s life on Thursday, Sept. 22, with a Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance.

The award was presented to Rep. Ortiz-Self at the State of Children and Families Early Learning Leadership Brunch by representatives of the Early Learning Action Alliance.

“As the state grapples with its paramount duty to provide education, we know that foundation for success is built in the earliest years,” said Children’s Alliance deputy director Jon Gould. “Access to high-quality early learning is critical to closing the gap for children who start out with fewer opportunities. Representative Ortiz-Self understands that early learning builds strong kids and strong communities. Their public service has improved opportunities for the children of northwest Washington and our state.”

“It was an honor to be able to recognize Representative Ortiz-Self at the Brunch.  Her commitment to early learning is evident through her efforts to expand bilingual education.  Language continues to be a serious barrier for many children in our region” said Karma Hugo, Director of Early Learning with Northwest Educational Service District 189.

The brunch, where the award was presented, is an annual event hosted by Northwest Early Learning, a regional coalition representing over one hundred organizations across Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties.  The goal of the brunch is to increase awareness and investment in early learning through stories of the children and families that live in the region. The Early Start Act, which legislators passed and funded in the 2015 legislative session, contains provisions designed to promote quality, culturally relevant early learning for children of diverse family backgrounds.

Since 2010, the Early Learning Action Alliance has recognized the work of legislators in early learning with Crayon Awards. Rep. Ortiz-Self is among 18 lawmakers across the state receiving Crayon Awards for their work on early learning policy. These leaders understand that children need high-quality, culturally relevant care to help them become resilient, successful learners. Investments in the first years of a child’s life are critical to closing the gap for children starting out with fewer opportunities.

While Crayon Awards recognize achievements over the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions, the Early Learning Action Alliance sees these policymakers as continuing leaders who are poised to grow their colleagues’ understanding about the importance of early learning and urge positive policies and investments for young children.

The event was a nonprofit 501(c)(3) permissible activity and cannot be connected to any election-related intent or activity. See the full list of Crayon Awardees here.

Contact: Jessica Haag, Communications Specialist, NWESD, jhaag@nwesd.org or 360-299-4714.