2013 Gala Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children
2013 Gala
Photo: Micaela Bedell for Strategies for Children

This year’s 13th Annual Early Educators Award Gala will be held on Friday, April 4, 2014, at Lombardo’s in Randolph. Sponsored by the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children (BAEYC), the gala is an evening of dinner and dancing, and honoring Greater Boston’s early educators and the early education programs that have earned national accreditation.

Early educators can be nominated for awards in the following categories:

– Leadership and Management

– Relationships

– Curriculum

– Physical Environment

– Family Partnership

– STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)

BAEYC will also present the Abigail Eliot Award to honor an early childhood professional who has made an outstanding commitment to young children and to the early childhood profession through work done on behalf of the association as well as for distinguished professional achievement. The award is named after Abigail Adams Eliot, a pioneer in early childhood education and in training teachers of young children.

Our own Amy O’Leary, Early Education for All Campaign Director, will serve as the evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies. Last year’s event was a huge success. We posted the pictures here.

Among the award winners in years past is Helen Schroeder who won in 2012 for physical environment, thanks in part to the dirt in her classroom.

As the South End Patch explains, a peek into her classroom at the United South End Settlement’s preschool program may reveal “a bin full of living earthworms and sliced vegetables strewn over a light board.” In addition, “There are troughs of colored water.” And, “Painted artwork covers a large portion of the walls.”

“In early childhood in general, the physical environment where kids are is such an important teaching tool,” the Patch quotes Schroeder as saying. “That’s something that’s known across the field, but especially important to me in my practice.”

This year’s gala promises to be exciting, especially now that President Obama and other national leaders have acknowledged the vital importance of the work that early educators do.

So please be sure to nominate a great early educator. And join us at the Gala on Friday, April 4th, 2014 to celebrate excellence in the field of early childhood education and care.