Murray Provides $1,000,000 for Seattle Area Educational Initiatives

Jun 21 2007

Funds will support early childhood education, mentoring, child care services and training for deaf-blind persons

(Washington, D.C.) – Today U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced that she has included $1,000,000 in funding for three separate educational programs in the Seattle area. Senator Murray included the funding in the Labor, Health, Human Services and Education (LHHS) Appropriations bill – the annual spending bill that funds healthcare priorities. Senator Murray is a senior member of the LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee. 

"I am pleased to have been able to secure this critical funding for these exciting educational, early learning and training programs," Murray stated.  "From mentoring disadvantaged youth to helping those with disabilities live a more independent lifestyle, these funds will have a positive impact on individual lives, and will help build a stronger community and workforce."

Ruby Linsao, Jumpstart site manager applauded Murray's efforts, “We are so grateful to Senator Murray and her commitment to preschool aged children in Washington State.  This funding will allow Jumpstart to continue serving hundreds of Head Start preschoolers in Seattle and ensure they are receiving individualized adult attention to build skills needed for success in school.  In addition, this funding enables Jumpstart to engage college students as future preschool educators, leaders in early education, and advocates for quality early learning programs.”

Jumpstart Seattle - $350,000  

Jumpstart is an early education program that recruits UW students to mentor low-income preschool children in order to build their language and literacy, social, and initiative skills.  The program works to create an environment of life-long learning for children.  Jumpstart partners with the Denise Louie Education Center and First A.M.E Child and Family Center to serve the Beacon Hill, Chinatown-International District, Capitol Hill, and Central Neighborhoods.  This funding will bring in 100 new college mentors and encourages quality early learning programs.

Deaf-Blind Service Center, Seattle - $400,000   

The Deaf Blind Service Center trains individuals that provide assistance to deaf-blind persons with day-to-day tasks.  This funding will expand the center to a Statewide Support Service Providers Pilot site that will help deaf-blind citizens from across Washington state become more independent.

Northwest Center, Seattle - $250,000  

Northwest Center is a well-established agency that provides services and resources to children and adults with developmental disabilities.  This funding will be used to open a Family Resource Center that will provide early childhood education, childcare programs and parent education classes.

“Northwest Center is poised to change the landscape of services for children with disabilities and delays in the Puget Sound region, and this funding represents a significant step in that direction.  The funds will establish a child and family center in South King County, so kids in that area will be better prepared for school and families will develop the tools to support their most precious assets—their children.  The entire community will benefit from the center, and we’re grateful to Senator Murray for helping us turn a bold vision into reality.”  David Wunderlin, President & CEO of Northwest Center.

Senator Murray, a former pre-school teacher, is a strong proponent for early childhood education.  One of Senator Murray's goals in the LHHS bill is to help give states, districts and communities the tools they need to improve education from birth through college and beyond through lifelong learning opportunities.  Washington state needs a well-educated workforce to maintain competitiveness in the global economy, and Senator Murray is determined to help provide parents and children with the resources they need to succeed.

The LHHS Appropriations bill was passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee today.  It will now be scheduled for debate before the full Senate.