Area children will benefit from a $78,000 grant from Thrive by Five Washington awarded to local early learning efforts.
The state's nonprofit awarded a total of $783,000 in Community Momentum grants to 10 regional early learning coalitions.
The Walla Walla Valley Early Learning Coalition, the local recipient, will use the money to help establish a regional coalition to include Asotin, Garfield, Columbia, Franklin and Benton counties, in additional to Walla Walla, said Samantha Bowen, program manager for the Walla Walla ELC.
The Southeast Early Learning Coalition would then be able to meet the unique needs of children living in this part of the state, and to better streamline services. The state's early learning coalitions work specifically to meet the needs of children during the first five years of life.
Bowen said this year the coalition will be strengthening its reach with regional partners, continuing the state's "Love. Talk. Play." campaign aimed at reaching parents of young children, and focusing on helping children enter kindergarten prepared.