As we wrap up 2020, we know it’s been a trying time for each of us, but we also want you to know that the association is here for you. We’ve got lots of things coming up in 2021 as we continue our virtual mini-conferences on Saturdays throughout the year, hope to expand our T.E.A.C.H. services, as well as work on legislative opportunities to improve the lives of early childhood educators, children and families across Arkansas. Please note that the office of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association will be closed Thursday 12/24, Friday 12/25 and Friday 1/1.
Here is a message from our AECA President, Gregg Cooper
Hey guys, Greg Cooper President of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association here. I just wanted you to know that as we get to the end of 2020, we know it’s been a trying time for each of us, but we also want you to know that the association is here for you. We’re going to continue working for early childhood educators in our state and we hope that you know that we’re always here for you. We’ve got lots of things coming up in 2021 as we continue our virtual conferences on Saturdays throughout the year. And we’ll keep you updated on those and hope that you can join us for them. We also want to encourage you to be a part of the legislative session this year as 2021 will be a legislative year for Arkansas. We’re going to keep up with all of the things that are happening as far as the legislation goes, but we encourage you to do the same as well. We hope to expand our T.E.A.C.H. services this year. We hope we can offer more scholarships, as we continue to look to expand that program we just want you to know that we’re going to get through this year, next year will be a better year and that we’re better together and just always remember that teamwork, makes the dream work. Have a great day.
Here is a message from our AECA Executive Director, Jeff Dyer
There are so many adjectives that come to mind when reflecting on 2020. This year has certainly been eventful, both promising and challenging. There is an old saying that refers to life as a series of peaks and valleys. You go through dark times and then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. Many people would describe 2020 as a Grand Canyon valley of a year. Another way is looking at life as two rails on a railroad track, and always there are positives and negatives in your life. No matter how good things are going in your life there are always things that need to be addressed, something negative that needs to be worked on. And no matter how bad things are in your life there are good things in your life to be thankful for.
Early childhood education and care in Arkansas has experienced some incredibly trying times, however, there are also positives, as well. One certainty is the early childhood community is a passionate and devoted group. During a pandemic with so much uncertainty, the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Scholarship program is distributing money to 55 recipients.
Through this difficult year an unprecedented opportunity has presented itself. There are many dedicated individuals in this organization working feverishly to showcase early childhood education and care in Arkansas and to bring that message to the people that can assist with the needed resources. The upcoming legislative session can be a game changer for early childhood education and care in Arkansas.
I would implore everyone to contact your elected officials when asked. Updates and critical information will be posted on the website and social media. There is strength in numbers.
I would also like to encourage everyone, that can, join AECA. This organization will continue to be a unifying voice for early childhood, both members and nonmembers. The larger the membership the more that can be accomplished. If you can do so, consider sponsoring someone for a membership this year. This could be a great opportunity to introduce AECA to someone new and to give back to the organization.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and 2021 begins on a positive note. Thank you all for what you do everyday for early childhood education and care in Arkansas.
We also have some conference news for you. We will be continuing our mini Saturday sessions beginning in February on Saturday, February 13, 2021 10:00 – 12:30 p.m with Tabatha Rosproy who is the 2020 National Teacher of the Year. Here is a little bit about her:
Tabatha Rosproy, a 10-year veteran Kansas teacher, is the first early childhood educator to be named National Teacher of the Year. She teaches preschool for Winfield Early Learning Center (WELC) in Winfield, Kansas. Housed in Cumbernauld Village, a local retirement community and nursing home, her inclusive classroom is an inter-generational program that provides preschoolers and residents with multiple daily interactions and serves special education and typically developing preschoolers in a full-day setting. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of school buildings across the country, Rosproy served as a co-chair of the educator task force that helped compile Kansas’s continuous learning guidance. A career preschool educator, Rosproy hopes to bring a voice to the important role early childhood education plays in our society and to highlight the value of social-emotional education at all age levels. Rosproy has served on her building leadership team and as the co-head teacher of WELC and as co-president of Winfield National Education Association. She is also active at the state level with Kansas National Education Association. Rosproy is a member of the Cowley County Special Services Cooperative Early Childhood Academy Team, which provides training and support in positive behavior interventions for early childhood teachers in her county. Rosproy holds a Bachelor of Arts in unified early childhood education, including special education and typically developing students, from Southwestern College and is near completion of her Master of Science in education (English as a Secondary or Other Language) at Fort Hays State University.
We can’t wait to see you there!
From everyone here at AECA, we wish you a happy holidays and all the best for 2021!