The Anacortes School District is one of five Washington state school districts to be awarded funds by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help young learners.
Anacortes School District will receive $533,000 to develop an aligned curriculum for birth-to-3 education; formalize partnerships with community agencies and early childhood experts; and continue progress at the Whitney Early Learning Center, an early education center located in Anacortes.
In Washington state, less than 50 percent of all kids enter kindergarten are ready to succeed in school. Among the lowest-income classrooms in the state, only 25 percent of kids are ready. Researchers have found that achievement gaps present at kindergarten grow wider as children advance through elementary school.
"All children deserve the chance to begin kindergarten ready to succeed," said Gates Foundation co-chair Bill Gates Sr. "But in Washington state, too many children lack access to high-quality care and preschool opportunities during their first five years of life. Our local school districts are uniquely poised to help a wide array of early learning providers better integrate their efforts so that more children can begin school on the right foot."
Other school districts receiving Gates Foundation grants are Sedro-Woolley, Nooksack Valley, Olympia, and South Bend school districts.