Submitted by: Whatcom Center for Early Learning

Whatcom Center for Early Learning (WCEL) is pleased to announce Sierra James has joined our team as the agency’s new Executive Director. Ms. James brings 20 years of experience working with non-profits and educational institutions, and a Master’s Degree in conflict resolution from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.

Ms. James announced: “I am very excited to join a team of deeply committed early intervention specialists at the Whatcom Center for Early Learning. Our work with early intervention is essential to improvement in the long-term outcomes for children, their families and our community. Red flags in children’s development are being missed, which means children are not getting the support they need at an early enough age. Together with our partners, our aim is to ensure that all children get the support that they need.”

WCEL provides high quality, family-centered therapy services, resource coordination and parent support, as well as classroom programs, which make an enormous impact for the youngest children with developmental delays and disabilities in Whatcom County. WCEL Services are low to no cost for families and research shows a lasting impact is made with early intervention and education.

“Children are born with a variety of abilities,” said Ms. James. “But we know from neuroresearch that there is the possibility of changing the physical structure of the brain during the early years, which is what makes our programs so important and life-changing. The support we are able to give the family adds to the child’s growth and well-being.”

WCEL is capping a momentous year, celebrating the official opening of the “Little Brick House” in Ferndale after a successful $1 million Capital Campaign, while maintaining its historic Bellingham “Big Blue House” and growing its programming by 22%. Community members are invited to attend WCEL’s upcoming March 14th Stewardship Dinner & Gala to join Ms. James, WCEL staff and Board of Directors and community supporters to celebrate WCEL’s current and future success.

Started by Public Health Nurse Anne Brown in the late 1960’s, the Center officially incorporated as a 501c(3) nonprofit in 1991. WCEL is a proud partner of United Way. Please go to wcel.net/support to make a donation. To learn more about the Gala or opportunities to volunteer, contact Erin Malone, Outreach & Development Director, at erinm@wcel.net or 360-966-1027. For questions about a child’s development (from birth to age 21 years) or to make a referral to early intervention services for your child, call the Single Entry Access to Services (SEAS) line at (360) 715-7485.

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