Guest Blogger: Gregg Cooper – AECA President

What a mess we are in at this time. With COVID-19 running rampant, things are changing at a daily rate. Then, in my area of the state, a horrific tornado hit Jonesboro, the largest city up here, and did great damage. Luckily, there were no fatalities. The response to both of these has been tremendous. Everyone is working together to flatten the curve. Social distancing has become the norm. Staying at home has become our new work. The influx of people to help those affected by the tornado has been phenomenal.

As all of this is happening, I began to think about why this working together, this teamwork, is not what we do every day. Why does it take a pandemic or a tragic event to make us work together? This is what we should do all the time. As early childhood educators, our goal is that all students are prepared physically, emotionally, developmentally, and cognitively when they leave our sites. We must all work on this together. All across the state, we have great centers that take care of our earliest learners. We need to share in this endeavor. It takes a village, or a whole state, to raise our children.

As we go through these trying times, we need to support each other. We need to work together. We need to lean upon each other. We need to be a team. But let’s not let it stop there. When we are back to some normalcy, let’s continue being a team. Let’s work together to make Arkansas not a leader, but THE leader, in early childhood education. We can do this. We just have to work together and not against each other. That’s the only way to meet needs. Teamwork makes the dream work! Stay safe.

Gregg is the ABC Coordinator at the Northeast Arkansas Education Cooperative in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

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