Have a Heart for Kids Day 2020

State Representative J.T. Wilcox honored for work to expand access to high-quality early learning

TUMWATER—Representative J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm) was honored for his commitment to the first five years of a child’s life on Thursday, Oct. 27 , with a Crayon Award from the Early Learning Action Alliance, presented at the monthly meeting of the Thurston Early Childhood Coalition.

State Rep. Wilcox accepts the Crayon Award from members of the Early Learning Action Alliance.


“The foundation for educational success is built in the earliest years,” said Children’s Alliance deputy director Jon Gould. “Access to high-quality early learning is critical to closing the gap for children who start out with fewer opportunities. Representative Wilcox understands that early learning builds strong kids and strong communities. His public service has improved opportunities for Washington’s children.”


Representative Wilcox is among 18 lawmakers across the state receiving Crayon Awards for their work on early learning policy. These leaders understand that children need high-quality, culturally relevant care to help them become resilient, successful learners. Investments in the first years of a child’s life are critical to closing the gap for children starting out with fewer opportunities. 


“Early learning is a proven strategy for preparing kids for success in school and in life, and it’s particularly important for kids growing up in rural Washington” said Wilcox. “As the husband of a schoolteacher, I’m keenly aware of the need to make sure Washington’s children can get the most out of the K-12 years.”


The Early Start Act, which legislators passed and funded in the 2015 legislative session, contains provisions designed to promote quality, culturally relevant early learning for children of diverse family backgrounds.


While Crayon Awards recognize achievements over the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions, the Early Learning Action Alliance sees these legislators as continuing leaders who are poised to grow their colleagues’ understanding about the importance of early learning and urge positive policies and investments for young children.


The Early Learning Action Alliance has recognized the work of legislator in early learning with Crayon Awards since 2010. The award presentation was a nonprofit 501(c)(3) permissible activity and cannot be connected to any election-related intent or activity. See the full list of Crayon Awardees here.


The Early Learning Action Alliance is convened by the Children’s Alliance, a statewide public policy advocacy organization that works at the state and federal level to ensure that all children have what they need to thrive. Learn more by contacting Jessica Roach: (206) 324-0340 ext. 29 or