Bunny Walters
Early Learning Manager

Education Initiative

United Way of Snohomish County: Tulalip Babies

What would happen if all children started their first day of kindergarten ready to succeed—socially, developmentally and academically?

Kids would stay in school. Crime rates would drop. So would teenage pregnancy. Graduation rates would improve. Our workforce would be better prepared and job productivity would increase.

All because kids are ready by age 6 for school?

Yes. Research shows that investing in quality early childhood education pays off. Snohomish County officials estimate that every $1 invested in young children gives an $11 return.

That’s the goal of our Education Initiative. We do this by supporting parents and caregivers, improving access to services and educating lawmakers about the importance of early childhood education.

In Snohomish County, United Way’s Education Initiative focuses on social and emotional development because teachers said that only 44% of children enter kindergarten ready to make a strong start. If children aren’t ready socially, they can’t learn.

Now, we’re providing the tools and training for parents, teachers and childcare providers at 54 sites to improve school readiness. Last year 1300 children were part of our Education Initiative:

Of those assessed:

  • 32% showed significant improvement in self-control
  • 39% showed significant improvement in initiative
  • 27% showed significant improvement in attachment

Thanks to United Way's Education Initiative, kids are getting the start they need to succeed.

Read more about our 10-year goals in education.

United Way’s Education Initiative is working through:

  • A public awareness campaign, complete with tips on turning everyday moments into learning moments for infants and young children (0-5 years).
  • The Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Program, a nationally recognized tool United Way is using in school districts, preschools and childcare centers to identify children ages 2-5 most need of help and to provide concrete ways to encourage social and emotional skills.


Announcement: Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

For the past several years, United Way of Snohomish County has been providing this service to the community, and we’re pleased to share that management of the program has transitioned to other, local organizations. In the interim, the new child enrollment has been closed.

See below for community-specific information. You can also learn more about the Imagination Library program at

Granite Falls Community:
Management has transitioned to Lutheran Community Services NW – Lake Stevens Family Center. Questions? Please contact Crisann Brooks at

Lake Stevens Community:
Management of the program has transitioned to the Lake Stevens Education Foundation. Questions? Contact Leslie Elsemore at

Mission: Leading positive change that transforms our community and improves people’s lives in Snohomish County

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