Hey y’all! Happy March! Each year, the month of March is set aside as Women’s History Month, dedicated specifically to honor women’s contributions in American history. As I think about some of the remarkable women who have influenced the field of early childhood education, such as Maria Montessori (female progressive education reformer, designed hands-on materials to promote experiential learning), Magda Gerber (world-renowned child therapist and infant specialist), Marian Wright Edelman (instrumental in Head Start’s early days and saw early childhood education work as a critical extension of the Civil Rights Movement), Susan Feingold (Holocaust refugee and founding member of the Bloomingdale Family Program), Patsy Mink (first woman of color elected to Congress, wrote the Early Childhood Education Act), Patty Smith Hill (invented unit blocks, and organized what would later become the National Association for the Education of Young Children), and more, I am so humbled by their work and incredible contributions. I know that these impactful women made many monumental connections along the way.

This month, the connections that are on my mind are some that have been the most meaningful in my life – connections with strong, influential, and impactful women who have walked ahead of me and given me someone to look up to, walked beside me along my journey, and reached back and pulled me up after clearing the way. Take a moment this month to thank an influential woman in your life: a colleague, a friend, a sister, your mother – and remember that the work that we do is developing the next generation of influential women (and men!), and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do!

I want to hear from you! Email me at president@arkansasearlychildhood.org and share what connection means to you, a story of a meaningful connection, and/or what you do within your program to support these vital relationships that link our hearts and minds. You can also find the above quote on our social media and reply there.

Looking forward to connecting,

Natasha Kile
President of AECA

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