Bill and Melinda Gates Giving Millions to Help Yakima Students - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bill and Melinda Gates Giving Millions to Help Yakima Students

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Bill and Melinda Gates donated five-million-dollars to help fund early education programs for children and their families in East Yakima.

This early learning initiative is going to benefit pre-schoolers all over East Yakima by helping them be more prepared for kindergarten and the grades ahead

Bill gates senior was at Adams Elementary earlier today to make the special announcement.

"I'm here to announce that the Gates Foundation along with Thrive by Five is pleased to say that we are making a 5-million-dollar grant or terms of joint funding to increase access to quality early learning for children ages birth to five in East Yakima," said Gates.

This donation is only phase one of ready by five's early learning initiative.

"Phase one funds will help support expanding the resources of parents, home visitation programs, programs for new and expectant parents and kindergarten transition programs," said Gates.

Today's big announcement was the only music to people's ears. Pre-schoolers from Adams Elementary performed at today's event, and Gates returned the favor by spending time in their classroom reading them a story.

"It means a change for a better community a better world," said Teresa Mendoza-Casby

Parents like Teresa are thrilled to see millions of dollars being poured into our community to help early learning and see this as just the beginning of big changes in East Yakima.

"Huge and wonderful things are going to happen in Yakima and we need to be the change we want to create. We need to be involved and all of the community needs to be involved in making a difference in the community, said Teresa.