VEL produces animated video:
Hank and Harriet Play a Game 
Imagine children waiting in a local dentist's office watching our Hank and Harriet video and the waiting children learning academic vocabulary that will help them show their teachers what they already know! That vision, as well as the potential of childcare providers and teachers sharing Hank and Harriet with children and families, was the motivating force behind VEL's animated video on Academic Vocabulary.

DVDs and Wafer Drives loaded with the video as well as other great resources for families and caregivers are available for regional distribution and individual use! Please email for more information.


Participate in a quick 10 question, multiple choice survey to share with us your thoughts on our Hank and Harriet video as well as any other VEL Family Engagement Activity you may have participated in. VEL is committed to creating user-friendly feedback loops between families/caregivers and our local and regional coalitions...and to using that input when creating and funding new opportunities for families and caregivers.

Distribution of this document is intended to share strategies to increase the readiness level of early math skills for children entering kindergarten and to help distribute resources to parents/families such as the Early Math Brochure and to licensed early learning providers, such as the Learning Pathways in Numeracy: Addressing Early Numeracy Skills.
Click on the printable documents and links below:  


Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) 
LIHEAP is a federally funded block grant administered by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Community Services (OCS). The program's intent is to assist low income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs.
In Washington State, LIHEAP assists households whose incomes are at or below 125% of the federal poverty level (FPL). These households pay a much higher proportion of their income for their home heating needs. As a result, they are the most at risk of losing access to heat during the cold winter months. The program is designed to help these families keep their heat on, especially those households that are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, the disabled, and households with young children.
LIHEAP primarily assists households by applying an energy assistance grant directly to the energy provider on behalf of the eligible household. In some situations, LIHEAP may also be able to help repair or replace an unsafe, dysfunctional, and/or inoperative heating system. Households who are eligible for LIHEAP may also qualify to have their homes made more energy efficient through the Weatherization Program.

Have You Heard of Text4baby?
Text4baby has joined ZERO TO THREE. Text4baby is the nation's only free mobile health service that provides timely health information in English and Spanish to women during pregnancy through baby's first year. It is the largest mobile health initiative in the nation, reaching more than 900,000 moms since its launch in 2010, and is available in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. Text4baby makes it easy to get important information, and it's free. Women who text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 receive free text messages three times per week, timed to their due date or their baby's birth date, through pregnancy and up until the baby's first birthday. Text4baby sends personalized messages directly to the subscriber with health, nutrition, and development information created by experts from all over the country. There is also an app that provides additional information about baby's development, pregnancy, child care tips, and more. Text4Baby was recently recognized by the White House as a "Bright Spot in Hispanic Education."

Visit to learn more about Text4baby:
VEL Funding for Local Family/Caregiver Engagement
VEL will continue to be responsive and supportive to local need by continuing funding to support ongoing or evolving Family/Caregiver engagement projects from our region's five local early learning coalitions and their partners. Standards for funded projects include utilizing Essential Racial Equity Questions developed by Washington State's Early Learning Advisory Council and incorporating feedback gained from the to be developed Family Engagement exit survey. VEL's Community Events and Opportunities for Families page is updated as events are scheduled.

Professional Development
See Poverty, Be the Difference
Explore Dr. Donna's Beegle's work on poverty through a dynamic DVD and guidebook, now available for partner agencies to check out for training purposes.

Email Project Coordintor to reserve. Already reserved dates are indicated on the VEL calendar 
VEL's Regional Home Visiting Cohort
continues it's series of professional development and community of practice building in 2016 with a new quarterly series of free one-day trainings for home visiting professionals.
Advancing Racial Equity
Are we failing our region's children of color? Accept this call to action and join our conversation during our  
2016 Advancing Racial Equity workshop series.

Data Informed Planning: New reports provide insight into needs
Regional WaKIDS Data

Data collected on incoming kindergarteners continues to show opportunity gap: click here to interact with a regional data spreadsheet created by ESD 113's Dr. Todd Johnson 

Washington State is collecting data on students in all state-funded, full-day kindergarten classrooms. Before October 31, kindergarten teachers complete an assessment of each child's developing skills in six areas: social-emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy and mathematics. They use an observational tool called Teaching Strategies GOLD®.  

BE INVOLVED, Make a Difference
VEL Board Representatives and Visions Work Team members make a difference. Consider becoming a driving force within and behind VEL's work within our region, increasing engagement with families, addressing equity issues of race and poverty, increasing access to services, and providing supports to early learning professionals who directly impact our region's youngest learners and families. Talk to your local coalition chair or VEL Executive Committee Representative for more information on upcoming bi-monthly meetings.

Partner agencies are invited to submit PDF's of local events and employment opportunities that may be of interest to coalition members to Project Coordinator Jane Partridge at for consideration for future publication in the monthly VEL newsletter.