Education, the lifeblood of our community, shapes our shared values and dreams, acting as a powerful force that paves the way for a thriving and prosperous community. Yet, the traditional ways of funding education often fall short in meeting the diverse needs of our school district. The Foundation for Edmonds School District envisions a community where every child’s potential is nurtured and where education inspires lifelong learning and adventure. That’s why we are committed to championing and serving students from cradle to career.
Whether or not you have children, you’ve likely heard it said that early childhood development, particularly from the ages of 1-5, is crucial to a person’s overall well-being and success. The Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families offers an Early Achievers program, helping day care providers to give quality care and excellent education to children before they start kindergarten. Despite this, 54% of providers in our local area aren’t rated or don’t participate in the program. Only 47% of our children are kindergarten-ready in all six key areas of learning by the time they get to school, which is lower than the statewide average of 54%. Becoming kindergarten-ready is crucial to better academic outcomes in elementary and high school, directly impacting career goals and higher education.
An investment in day care providers is an investment in the future. The Foundation for Edmonds School District has created the new Early Learning Program, collaborating closely with the Edmonds School District, to reach out to day care providers and provide access to resources and training so that they can provide quality care and become rated through Early Achievers. The hope is that all our children will be ready by the time they get to kindergarten. They’ll reach important milestones that will set them up for success, not just now, but well into the future beyond graduation and into their careers. If they succeed, we succeed.
In School and Beyond
Building on this foundation demands equitable access to enriching educational experiences. Unfortunately, recent budget cuts jeopardize vital programs such as music, arts, and athletics, leaving students at risk, as these programs encourage teamwork, instill an understanding of logic and strategy, and build confidence.
The Foundation’s Classroom and Schoolwide grants, student matching programs for team travel, access to music labs and reading programs, to name just a few, help bridge this funding gap and provide access to a wide variety of experiences for students. Ensuring programs like this exist help to buffer against the risk of any further budget cuts or restraints.
Lifetime Learners, Lifetime Contributors
Education is not a finite chapter, but a lifelong journey, fostering creative thought and innovation, that benefits technology, business, and our economy. This is why investing in education is vital. The Foundation’s commitment to hands on job experiences through our On-the-Job Training program, tuition for “world language tests,” and postsecondary scholarships ensures that students can pursue their passions, contributing to society as informed, well-rounded, and skilled individuals – regardless of where their education takes them.
Children truly are the future. The vibrancy of our community rests on them and the opportunities we make available. Investing in education is not only important for every child, but for all our success.
— By Deborah Brandi, Foundation for Edmonds School District