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Category Archives: Week 2

Week 2

Exploring Roles in the ECE Community: Local and State Levels

Ok, I’ll admit, I live in such a tiny bubble within my community. Honestly, the biggest city from my hometown is about 45 minutes away. Sure, we enjoy shopping and hitting the big city once in a while, but within my area, we are very small. So small, in fact, that the idea of early childhood organizations or communities of practice never really dawned on me. I have heard, of course, of National Association for the Education of Young Children; however, that is a nationally recognized organization for early childhood. Could it be that there are in fact local and state organizations for early childhood education? Should I take a daring further step and ask, “Would they even appeal to me?” Within the course of one evening, my mind was overwhelmed by how much support the local and state levels have to offer early childhood education. Not only are there organizations and communities of practice, but they actually appeal to me – sweet, hometown ol’ me! Allow me to introduce you to a few of them:

DIPCPI was SO excited to discover this organization, which focuses on current issues related to inclusion and diversity. This organization truly adopts a community of practice attitude by offering regular meetings and including a diverse amount of people, like businesses, educational representatives, health care representatives, and even those who represent the law. To me, this is a true picture of a diverse community of practice. I was drawn to this organization primarily because it fosters a community of practice that focuses on my professional passion of inclusion. Not only would I be able to meet countless individuals who share my passion, I would also be able to gain a wealth of resources of how to become an even bigger advocate for inclusion, as well as so many other topics. In addition, I really liked this organization because it discusses controversial topics, like LGBT in the work place. I would absolutely love to engage in this type of organization to expand my own knowledge about these issues. Does this group appeal to you? If so, please feel free to visit their website at: http://diversityinclusionpcp.org/.

PennAEYCSo, how about a raise of hands for those who did not know that NAEYC has state-affiliated organizations, like the PennAEYC? Well, if you raised your hand, it’s ok. I’m in the same boat. With just a bit of research, my awareness about state early childhood organizations raised significantly! The PennAEYC is indeed the state affiliation of NAEYC. I adore the NAEYC and the various stances they take about countless topics within early childhood education. Therefore, this group appealed to me with just the simple letters of NAEYC, however I was drawn more so to this group because it is within my own state. Rather than just networking with professionals nationwide (which is still a great practice), I will be able to join forces with professionals within my own state! Through this resource, I hope to gain additional resources and networking leads for my own community of practice, as well as join additional communities of practice to enhance my professional knowledge and understanding. Interested in this state- affiliated NAEYC group? Visit their website at: http://www.pennaeyc.com. (Or maybe your state has its own affiliation – a simple google search is so helpful!)

PAKeys

I love, love, love the Pennsylvania KeyStone Stars program, which is an accreditation program to produce high quality early childhood centers. This is a state-wide organization, however the state is broken down into different regions, like the Northeast region (which is where I am from). I am interested in this specific organization (as in the Northeast region), because it will definitely allow me to build a broader network of professional support within my own area. In addition, I will hopefully be able to work with local centers on achieving the next star in the accreditation program. At the state wide level, the Keystone Stars is a great program that works well to advocate for high quality early learning environments. I’ve had the honor of working for two different centers who were enrolled in this program, and the difference between stars is outstanding! In addition, there are grants and awards provided for each star earned. Currently, there is only one 4-star center within my community (which is one of the highest levels, if not the highest, a center can go). I’m excited to partner with the Northeast Region to advocate for more 4-star centers in my community. Read more about this organization at: http://www.cscinc.org/northeast-regional-key

LH Alright, so the Lauren’s Hope Foundation may not be a professional organization, however I felt it was an important foundation to mention, as it works to provide support for children with brain injuries and their families. Since this aligns smack dab with my professional passion, I adore this foundation. Perhaps I should mention that I am actually apart of this foundation, as a parent since my son suffered from a brain injury at birth. This foundation offers seasonal activities, like a Mother’s Day massage and breakfast with Santa. It may not sound like much, but hosting these activities offers parents and families additional support from other families and professionals. It is a tremendous help! In addition, this foundation is a part of a community of practice that works to provide hyperthermia treatment for newborns with brain injuries. Amazing, right? Read more at http://www.laurenshopefoundation.com.

A Shift in Thinking …

Here’s another confessions: I enrolled in this Master’s degree program with the intentions of becoming a director at an early childhood program. It was a simple ambition, and I thought for sure that role would be enough to make a difference within my community. While I am not saying that it is not enough, after completing all of these courses, I realized that my ambition has changed. I am inspired, motivated perhaps, to take on a professional role that would involve working within a community and perhaps with multiple centers, not just one. I desire for my advocacy and professionalism to impact as many people as possible. Therefore, I shifted my thinking from being a director to becoming something more in early childhood education. However, my question remained: what more is out there for early childhood education? Alas … there is more … so much more. Here are just a few of the job opportunities I came across that really interest me:

cdp

Child Development Partner

Doesn’t this sound super awesome? This job opportunity would allow me to work with a variety of families by “providing comprehensive child development and family development services” (Community Services for Children, 2010a). Being a mommy-to-be or a brand-new mommy, you are faced with so many changes that thinking about child development seems like a foreign idea. However, with this role, I would be able to become an advocate and provide these new families with this information, enabling them to become better advocate themselves. This aligns directly with my vision of being a professional, hence, it’s truly an ideal job. While I have most of the skills and experience needed to fulfill this job, I would probably need additional experience working with infants and toddlers (as my little boy is nearly 5!), and working on my rusty Spanish is a must! However, other than that, I believe I am prepared to meet the majority of these job qualifications.

PDS

Professional Development Specialist

This role really grabbed at my professional core, at it deals with training other professionals to “increase educator proficiency in the teaching of STEM education” (Pittsburgh Technology Center, 2009). While I adore working with children and their families, one of my secret passions is training other professionals to increase their competency and ability to provide high quality care. This job opportunity sounds like a dream to me, as I would be able to design and create professional development sessions and instill in others my passion for high quality early childhood education. Furthermore, I’d get to present at “regional, state, and national conferences” (Pittsburgh Technology Center, 2009), which would allow me to truly impact a LOT of people. While this job opportunity sounds great, I would need to become a PQAS Instructor (or be willing to be trained.) Since I’m not quite sure what those letters entail, this would definitely be something I would need to investigate. In addition, I would need to gain more classroom teaching experience and deepen my awareness about research-based methods. It seems like a bit to accomplish, but if I put my mind into it, then there’s nothing I can’t do.

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Workforce Developmental Specialist (with the PA Keys Northeast Region)

This job is similar to the professional development specialist, as it focuses on “program planning and development” (Berks County Intermediate Unit, 2012). However, within this job opportunity, I would be working the the PA Keys program to develop “alternate pathways for the Career Lattice, develop and implement infant/toddler framework and credential, and Peer Mentor Certification” (Berks County Intermediate Unit, 2012). I love to research and design new curriculum methods, including those highlighting the needs for infants and toddlers. I am passionate about advocating for a more developmentally appropriate curriculum, and this job would definitely provide that opportunity. I’m excited about this job, as I currently meet all of the above skills and experiences needed. However, I should probably review and strengthen my understanding about the Keystone Stars program, including the career lattice and the infant/toddler framework.

So far, I am blown away by the amount of information I have gained just by doing research on local and state organizations. I am now even more excited to begin my career with a Master’s degree by looking at some of the job opportunities. Stay tuned, as I discover some exciting national and international opportunities in the coming weeks.

Until then, your colleague-in-crime, Erin 

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Posted by on March 15, 2014 in Capstone, Local and State Levels, Week 2

 

Silence TV: Nonvebal vs. Verbal Communication

Have you ever sat down with a group of friends, put a TV show on silent, and made up a completely random story about what might be happening? I remember recently a co-worker and I were watching Dora the Explorer in Spanish. Since neither one of us spoke that language, we really did not have a clue as to what was going on. So, we had fun and made up the story line that Dora and her friends were on their way to Boston Market. It was funny to do, but it also helped me realize how many assumptions can be made just based on the body language and facial expressions of a conversation. For this week’s assignment, I watched a TV show on silent to see how many different assumptions I made before turning on the sound.

The TV show I decided on was one I had never seen before. Perhaps some of you have heard it … it is called “How I Met Your Mother.” I’m not a big fan of TV, so don’t be alarmed that I have never seen this show before. In fact, when I watched it without any sound the first time, I labeled the characters, G(1), G(2), B(1) and so forth. Just in case some of you have never seen this TV show either and don’t know any of the characters’ names, here’s a quick reference for you:himym

The episode I picked was from season 1, episode 16, entitled “Game Night.” Below you will find a YouTube link of a snippet of this episode when Barney decides to “suit up.”

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The first time I watched this episode, I turned the volume off to see if I could pick up on the story line based on nonverbal communication, including body language and facial expressions. Based on this initial evaluation, I assumed what the characters’ relationships were with each other, as well as what they might be feeling and expressing to each other.

* Characters’ Relationships

I believe that this TV show revolves around the five characters that all have a close friendship. The different scenes in this episode, which included a restaurant/bar and an apartment setting, revealed the close bond that these five characters have. For example, all five of the characters remained with in personal spatial zone, which according to O’Hair & Wiemann (2012), this zone ranges from about eighteen inches to four feet and is use to “communicate with friends, relatives, and occasionally colleagues” (p. 143). In addition, throughout the episode, they also displayed a “friendship-warm touch,” which “conveys liking and affection between people who know each other well” (O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, p. 145). Through these two different types of nonverbal communication, I could sense that these five characters have a close friendship.

I also assumed that two of the characters, Lily and Marshall, were in a romantic relationship. Whenever the characters were seated together, Lily and Marshall sat just a bit closer together. In the beginning scene at the restaurant, Lily and Marshall’s shoulders touched each other. From these cues, I sensed that they shared more of an intimate spatial zone and more of a love-intimacy touch(O’Hair & Wiemann, 2012, pp. 143, 145). These forms of led me to make the assumption that Lily and Marshall were romantically involved with each other.

* Feelings and Expressions

Since I was limited to only nonverbal behaviors and communication, I had to pay close attention to facial expressions and body language to determine what the characters were expressing and feeling to each other. In the beginning scene, all the characters were seated around at a restaurant or bar. It appeared that Ted was trying to get Lily and Marshall to do something (what this something is, I wasn’t sure of until I listened to it with sound) through positioning his body closer to them and vividly using his hands and facial expressions to describe this event. Barney did not seem to be a fan of this, as his face clearly showed disapproval, and he waved his finger “no” to support this disapproval. Barney appeared to continue question Ted, causing Ted to get upset and turn his body towards Barney in defense. However, Barney continued to tried to pursued Lily and Marshall to do something, and Lily reluctantly agreed by rolling her eyes.

The setting shifts to an apartment, where all of the characters are seated, with an additional girl (who I discovered is named Victoria). It seems as if Marshall is trying to explain how to play the game using colorful facial expressions and animated hand motions. When Ted took the first time, Marshall read the card, and Victoria answered the question. After she provided the answer, Barney appeared surprised by this response when he raised his eyebrows. Barney followed through with his surprise by questioning Victoria, which caused Ted to looked shocked by what Barney had just asked. This prompted Lily to ask a question, causing Barney to sit up in the chair abruptly. It appeared that Barney wanted to answer whatever question Lily had asked. Yet his facial expressions showed that he “didn’t know,” although his body language was displaying the contradictory message that he really did know. At this point, Lily got up and retrieved a video tape. Barney showed nervousness when he jumped out of the chair and shred the tape, letting his friend know that he did not want them to see what was on that tape. Lily produced another copy of the tape, which contributed to the growing look of embarrassment painted all over Barney’s face. Barney’s protest against seeing that video was evident through his body language, as he tried to stop Lily from putting it in the VCR. However, Ted jumped in the way, which told Barney that he did want to see what was on the video. The video tape revealed a younger version of Barney, who appeared very downcast and sobbing while singing. At this point, Barney removed the tape and walked out of the apartment.

The next scene was back at the restaurant or bar, where the characters (including Victoria) were seated, except Barney. He showed up a few seconds later, of which everyone initially displayed empathetic looks. However, these were quickly replaced with smiles, which prompted Barney to act as if he was leaving. All of the characters extended their hands, as if to tell him that they really did want him to stay. Barney sat back down, and Lily’s face showed empathy as she asked him something. This lead into a series of flashbacks from each character that revealed an embarrassing moment. These ranged from Marshall being discovered by Lily’s students in the bathroom, Ted throwing up on Robin’s carpet, and someone hearing Lily and Marshall having sex over the phone. After each story was told, each of the characters displayed an embarrassed look. This helped Barney to tell a bit more about the background of the video, which included him discovering that his then-girlfriend was cheating on him, so he turned his hippy look into a businessman by “suiting up.” (See the above YouTube clip for this part of the episode.)  After Barney had finished sharing his story, he appeared to be sad by hanging his head and putting his hands over his eyes. All of the characters immediately showed a sense of sadness on their faces and leaned their bodies toward Barney to show empathy. However, Barney jumped up and lit his face up with a smile. He appeared to be satisfied that he managed to get all of his friends to share an embarrassing story while acting as if he was depressed over this then-girlfriend leaving him. All of the characters were shocked and then laughed when they realized what Barney had just done.

Watching this episode without any sound was challenging, but I was able to follow the story line through the use of body language, facial expressions, and even hand motions. All of these nonverbal communication skills allowed me to pieces together that this episode was centered around sharing embarrassing moments of each of the characters, of which Barney tricked them into do by acting that he was embarrassed and sad about the video tape and his ex-girlfriend cheating on him.

sound

After watching without sound, I decided to re-watch this episode with sound to discover if my assumptions about the characters and the plot were accurate based on the interpretation I made of the nonverbal communication I observed.

While my assumptions were fairly accurate, there were several that had to be corrected:

* The entire show is essentially stories of how a child’s mother and father met. This was a voice layover in the beginning of the episode that could only be heard. It revealed that Marshall was always good at games and won almost every time, which is why they decided to have a game night.
* In the beginning scene at the restaurant, Ted is actually asking everyone (not just Lily and Marshall) to be nice to his new girlfriend, Victoria. In addition, he also asked that no one tell Victoria about his feelings for Robin. This is why Lily rolled her eyes. Furthermore, Barney was not showing his disapproval, but rather making fun of Ted for not telling Robin or Victoria about his feelings for Robin.
* The romantic relationship (or the previous one) between Robin and Ted was not something I picked up on through nonverbal communication, as it appeared that they were just friends.
* In the apartment, Lily did not actually ask Barney a question, but rather stated that she ran into someone who knew Barney and couldn’t remember her name. As she was spouting of names, the name “Shannon” came up, and this caused Barney to jump. There was a voice fluctuation, which clearly indicated that he knew who Shannon was, yet he refused to acknowledge her.
* Barney was nervous because Shannon had given Lily a tape for Barney. Once again, Barney’s voice changed to a high pitch, indicating that he did not want others to see this tape.
* Lily didn’t have two copies of the tape, but rather she gave Barney a fake tape before producing the actual copy.
* My assumptions were correct about Barney not wanting his friends to see the video tape, and that the video tape revealed a very sad Barney.
* In the restaurant, my assumptions were also correct that his friends were very empathetic and apologetic when Barney arrived, as well as his friends laughing about the tape.
* I predicted correctly that each of the friends shared an embarrassing story in order to get Barney to open up about his embarrassing moment.
* I was correct about Barney’s embarrassing story, which included his girlfriend cheating on him. However, I did not expect that Barney was planning to go off to the Peace Corp, but his girlfriend left him for a more successful man.
* Finally, I was correct in my assumption that Barney was just tricking them to get his friends to share an embarrassing story.

If this had been a show that I watched regularly, I believe that my assumptions would have been more accurate. Knowing the background information about the characters and the kind of relationships between the two would have enabled me to pick up on more nonverbal cues between Robin and Ted, as well as between the others, In addition, I would have also known about the relationship between Victoria and Ted. If I had known more about this show, I would have been more in tune to how all the characters interact and communicate with each other, both verbally and non-verbally.

Completing this exercise really gave me a unique perspective on communication. I realized how essential verbal communication is, as well as how much nonverbal communication accentuates verbal communication.  In addition, I also grasped the fact that nonverbal communication can say a lot about your conversations, even to those who are not actively participating. This helped me learn that I need to watch my nonverbal communication to ensure that I don’t send the wrong message to those who may be watching me, including little eyes. Finally, I grew more aware that one can’t assume they know everything just based on nonverbal communication. If this were to occur, a lot of information would go missing, making the conversation ineffective. In order for a communicator to be effective, both verbal and nonverbal communication need to be utilized appropriately and efficiently to truly embrace effective communication.

Reference:

O’Hair, D., & Wiemann, M. (2012). Real communication: An introduction. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2013 in Communication, Week 2

 

My Family Culture

Take a snapshot of this scenario: The land … the country you have lived your entire life has suddenly reached a catastrophic state. Everywhere you look, you see devastation … horror. The good memories are now gone, only to be replaced by a heavy sadness and a huge loss. At least you have your immediate family to hold onto as your walk the barren, deserted roads. Suddenly, you hear the rumors that the surviving individuals will need to evacuate to other countries. The rumors quickly turn into truth, as you learn more about this life-shifting move that is coming at you full-steam. The latest news is that individuals will be sent to a country that is not of their choice. As if that is hard enough to swallow, you were told the next day that the culture in that country is polar opposite that the one that was in your homeland. So, now you are facing the future of a new country, a new culture, a new land. Nothing you once knew would be there. As mind blowing as that it, devastation is quickly surmounting around you, and you have 24 hours to pack a change of clothes and only three small items to take with you. Unsure of the future of the country where you lived … built all your memories … these three items may be all that you have to remember the culture that shaped and molded you into who you are today … What would you choose?

To be honest, I have been thinking about this question all week. I thought about my daily goings and comings, determining what items I use on a daily basis that I just positively can’t see myself without. My mind immediately went to my cell phone. My phone has become my second-hand man. It does everything for me … from my banking to keeping in touch with my loved ones. Perhaps this would be a good choice? Then again, I would be in a completely new country. Therefore, the cell towers probably … well ok … won’t reach my cell phone, AND I won’t be able to keep up my with my cell phone bill. Ultimately, my cell phone would be useless in a new country. Well, that idea got thrown out the window. Then, I began to truly dig deep into my life. What items have been with me since I was young? What items define who I am today? What items bring me a sense of hope, comfort, and love? Well, it was a bit tough narrowing down to only three, but they are (with attached descriptions):

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(Please note the above pictures depict the real items.)

Ok … here’s another snapshot to add to your photo album: You packed up all of your items and boarded the plane with your family. As you stare at the water below you, you grip onto the blanket for a sense of comfort. When the plane lands, your feet hit the soil hard. Your feet shuffled slowly, as you dread meeting new people in a whole new land. You reach the customs station and are forced to open the only bag you brought with you. You are shown to small, dimly-lit room, with a friendly man sitting at a table. Through the translator, you are asked to put all of the items on the table. Your hand reaches all three items, as your delicately place each one on the table in front of you. The man, with a smile painted on his face, touches the items without a word. Then, slowly, he asks you one question: What do these items mean to you? (Of course, the translator spoke this sentence to you.) What would your response be?

  • My blanket: This blanket has seen me through the worst and happiest days of my life. Since I was first born, it was wrapped around me to keep me warm and to shelter me from the world. As I grew, every time I would fall down or get sick, this blanket was there to provide me comfort, reassuring me of familiarity and love. Reaching my teen years and being introduced to love and heartbreak, this blanket was there to wipe away my tears as this boy or that broke my heart. As I birthed my son into this world, I gripped this blanket with all my might to bear through the pain. You see, this blanket is so much more than material. It holds vivid memories of my entire life. Etched through the seams are my thoughts, my secrets, my tears, and my smiles. It has provided warmth on the coldest nights, comforts on the hardest days, love on the loneliest days, and safety when the world was too hard to face. It has been my dearest friend … my only friend … my friend in the middle of the time … my friend when I needed one the most. This blanket and I have been together through the good and bad times … and will be together until my last breath. “Until the grave…” I whisper softly.
  • My Bible: My Bible has been a source of guidance and direction throughout my life. When I was a young girl, I decided to follow Christ, letting my light burn brightly for all the world to see. Yet, I realized that I couldn’t fulfill this decision all on my own. I needed direction to show me how to live and where to go. While people around me where helpful, the Bible was my ultimate source to show me how to live an upright, righteous life. When the road got bumpy, I ingested the words scattered through the Bible to get me through. As I had moments of triumph, I sang praises through the very words etched on the pages. The Bible has spoken words for me when I could no longer speak. I hold the Bible very dear to my heart, as it has guided my thoughts, words, and actions throughout my lifetime.
  • My Family Pictures: Although these photos are not the actual individuals, they represent memories … moments shared in time … with people that I cherish, adore, and love. You see … there are my parents and brother. My family who has been with me for as long as I can remember. They have cheered me on and walked beside me. Although I’m grown now and walk a bit of a different path that the ones they are on, these pictures gently remind me that they will always be there. Oh look .. that’s my son. My precious miracle whose very breath took mine away. He has had his share of struggles throughout his short life, but he always managed to come out with a smile. Pictures of him remind me what a miracle really is, and that no matter how hard of a day I may have, there is always a reason to keep going on. Finally, see this handsome man … that’s my one true love. We waiting for nearly 7 years for each other, with 4 of those years being spent completely apart. It was a long wait, but oh so well worth it. We eagerly look forward to the day when we will become one, sharing in a lifetime forever. Pictures of this sweet man show me what love is … show me that I am loved … show me that things are worth waiting for. For you see … all of these pictures represent more than paper or even the people in them … they represent memories that have given me nuggets of truth to succeed in life. 

Ok … you’ve just finished up explaining about these three items and their immeasurable worth to you. The kind man’s smile slowly fades, as his face suddenly becomes very sullen. The translator tells you that while these items are lovely, this new country has a rule that only one item is allowed to be brought in. You touch each item with hesitancy, as you are forced to continue on with only one item. How would you feel?

Honestly, to know that I’d have to give up two of these items crushes my heart. All three are representations of who I am as an individual. They reveal my culture … my identity … my being. To carry on without all of them would leave me feeling a bit empty … hollow … alone. I wouldn’t feel whole. However, if this is a rule, I have to decide. Let the narrowing process begin:

* My Bible, although precious and wise, is a universal book. More than likely, I would be able to replace my Bible with another one that would be in the language of this new country. Yet, giving up my Bible, even with the thoughts of obtaining a new one in the future, leaves me feeling sad. I simply don’t feel like myself without it.
* My Family Pictures … these depict times of memories shared within my homeland. I don’t want to part from them and forget these delightful times shared with my family. Nonetheless, I am comforted by the fact that my immediate family was able to come with me to this new land. Although the family pictures were from our homeland, we would be able to take new pictures within this new country. The pictures won’t delete or even replace the memories, but the new pictures would be able to capture the individuals that instill character and virtue in me.
* My Blanket … Since the other two items have been choice to be left behind, I would pick my blanket. This is an object that is unique and non-replaceable. I would not be able to find this very blanket in this new country that has the same kind of meaning and history as this yellow blanket does.

Thankfully, the above scenario hasn’t actually happened. It was just a simulation exercise to trigger thoughts and emotions about how culture, diversity, and cultural differences are related to yourself personally and professionally. What did you learn?

Thinking about how much these items meant to me, I was able to see how much emotions are rooted within culture. An item wasn’t chosen just because it was handy or decorative. These items were picked based on connections to the past, my thoughts and emotions. When getting to know a family’s culture, I realized that it is important to learn the history behind this. What makes them happy? What comforts them when they are sad? How do they celebrate victory? Culture is entwined with emotions that truly affect a person’s behaviors and thoughts. As professionals, we should take the time to understand the rich history that is woven throughout a person’s culture.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for my next post J Here’s to a happy few weeks, as we explore about diversity and equity! 

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Family Culture, Week 2

 

Sharing Web Resources

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Zero to Three: Early Experiences Matter

The website that I’ve decided to follow and to explore in depth is Zero to Three, a nonprofit organization that works with parents, professionals, and policy makers to make a bigger impact on the lives of young children. If you would like to explore this website or learn more about the information discussed here, please go to the following link: http://www.zerotothree.org/. This will take you to Zero to Three’s homepage.

Primary Focus and Mission of Zero to Three

Throughout the country, the Zero to Three organization “informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers” (Zero to Three, 2012). It works to improve the overall development of young children by presenting thorough research and information, especially those that highlight different positive experiences that benefit children, with accessible tools and resources for those that directly and indirectly impact young children. It utilizes a “multidisciplinary approach” (Zero to Three, 2012) to bring together various viewpoints of different fields and individuals to show how all developmental domains are interconnected and dependent upon each other to “promote a child’s overall health and well-being in the context of his family and culture” (Zero to Three, 2012).

Zero to Three highlights specific areas that significantly impacts the field of early childhood, including “ including child care, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture” (Zero to Three, 2012). It is this organization’s vision to promote better understanding about these specific areas to help children reach their optimal best.

Overall, Zero to Three’s focus is the improve the lives and well-being of children by helping to expand the understanding of professionals, parents, and policymakers through a wealth of research-based information.

Zero to Three’s Website at a Glance
 

Navigating through this organization’s website is a rather easy task. Upon entering the homepage, a viewer will have access to a variety of tabs including “Behavior and Management,” “Maltreatment”, “Care and Education,” and “Public Policy.” When a user clicks on any of the aforementioned tabs, they will be taking to a submenu of links specifically relating to that topic. For example, when clicking on “Maltreatment,” a user will be taken to subtopics like Child Abuse and NeglectSafe Babies Court Teams, and Impact of Trauma. Through each tab, a parent, professional, or policymaker will find something useful to expand their knowledge. There is downloadable resources, free resources for parents and families, and a bookstore for the option of purchasing additional resources. Zero to Three’s website is built for easy navigation by a parent, professional, or policymaker, capturing their attention and interest through a variety of topics.

Zero to Three Journals and Newsletter
 

Zero to Three publishes both a journal and a newsletter throughout the year:

  • Zero to Three Journal is published bi-monthly and contains articles in regards to important issues in the field of early childhood education. The journal is available in print or digital format. The subscription price is $79 dollars per year (or $139 for two years) for both a print and a digital copy. To purchase just a digital copy, the price is $59. One is able to view previous journal issues prior to deciding if a subscription is desired. In addition, journal collections are available at a discounted price through the bookstore. For the month of January, articles and research revolve about home visiting and how this supports positive development and home-to-school relationships. To inquire more about the journal, please click here.
  • From Baby to Big Kid: How Your Child Grows from Zero to Three is a monthly eNewsletter geared towards parents that provides age-specific information on child development, research-based articles, activity suggestions, frequently asked questions, and additional research. Upon registering for this free newsletter, parents are asked what their child’s (or children’s) current ages are, so the newsletter will be age-related and appeal to the parent’s interest. To sign up or inquire more about this eNewsletter, please click here.

    *Please note, while I did subscribe to this monthly eNewsletter, I have not receive any editions yet. I attempted to research for archive copies, but they are not readily available through the website.*

Current Issue/Trend from the Website
 

Since I was not able to access the monthly eNewletter currently, I focused on a specific issue highlighted on the Zero to Three website that caught my attention. While browsing the plentiful topics, the issue of sleep. Since I have a three year old with multiple disabilities, sleep has been a struggle since he was an infant. I first began to read about some of the tips and strategies for getting a better night’s sleep. The suggestions provided ranged in age from infant to toddler. There were suggestions for nighttime awakenings and how to help a toddler fall back to sleep and what to do when a toddler have a nightmare. However, I was particularly drawn to the myths about sleeping. I have attempted to put my son to bed a bit later on the weekends in attempts to get him to sleep longer and throughout the night, however this doesn’t work. Reading through the myths, I discovered that a child should actually be put to bed earlier for a better night’s sleep, rather than later in hopes of sleeping in later. I decided to give it a try by putting my son to bed earlier one evening. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my son had slept well throughout the night and slept until 7:30. I am thankful for this website and their suggestions, as I have already begun to repeat the benefits personally. To further explore this topic on sleep, please click here.

Relation to This Week’s Current Topic: Changing Demographics and Diversity
 

Unfortunately, I was not able to locate a lot of information particularly pertaining to diversity and the changing demographics. I looked through all of the topics and subtopics, both of which did not lead to a specific area related to diversity and its impact on child development. I completed a search on the entire website and discovered that a journal was devoted to diversity in May 2007. (For the Table of Contents, click here.) Since only the table of contents was available to view, I was not able to see what the articles specifically referenced. Some of the policy articles mentioned diversity, however there was little information directly related to diversity and the changing demographics.

*A special note in regards to Part 1 of this assignment. I have not had any contacts with international early childhood professionals. Today, I attempted to contact organizations via Facebook to see if I could connect with anyone. I haven’t had any responds yet. I am prepared to choose the alternative to this assignment if nothing occurs with contacting these professionals.

 
Reference: Zero to Three, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.zerotothree.org/.
 
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Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Early Childhood Resources, Week 2

 

Relationship Reflection

Hi! If you came to visit my blog for my Relationship Reflection, I have it on its own page. You can access it through two different ways:

1) On the right hand of the screen towards the top of the page, you will see three different tabs: About, Early Childhood Resources, and Relationship Reflection. Click on the last one, Relationship Reflection, to read the content.

2) Simply click here: https://littlelaughter.wordpress.com/relationshipreflection/

Comments, if you choose to leave any, can be left directly on that page, or on this post if you wish.

Thanks for stopping by!

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in Week 2

 

Child Development and Public Health: Immunizations

When researching the different ways public health affects childhood development, I chose to specifically focus on immunizations. I find immunizations to be crucial for proper and healthy development of a child. If a child is exposed to a harmful disease that could leave lifelong complications, his development could be largely impacted. With the simple routine measures of immunizations, we are actually helping to promote healthy development. In addition, I also find immunizations to be imperative for children with special needs. Whether the special needs are mild or severe, if a child catches a disease, like whooping cough, it could be deadly. By ensuring that these special children as vaccinated, we could be preventing death for them. Finally, this topic is meanigful to me, because I am a mother. Since my son has received all of his vaccines, I don’t have to fear contagious diseases. However, I couldn’t imagine watching my son enduring a painful disease, knowing that it could have been prevented through a vaccine. Knowing that immunizations are available is meaningful to me because it provides ways that I can take to make sure my son is protected and has the best chance of development that won’t be affected by contagious or deadly diseases. This is also meaningful to me as a professional because I can educate parents about the important need to vaccinate and advocate for children to receive all childhood immunizations. Through knowing this knowledge about immunizations, I feel like I have found my voice to ensure that all children are receiving these life-saving vaccines to help them reach their fullest potential.

After comparing information of immunizations in the US and Africa, I am able to see how blessed and fortunate we are living in America. Our children have the opportunity to receive these vaccines that will help prevent major diseases and promote healthy development. So many children in Africa don’t yet have this opportunity and are unfortunately suffering from this deficit. It also encourages me to become a stronger advocate for children worldwide to receive immunization opportunities. If all children in Africa were to receive the vaccines the children in US received, we would see a lower rate in mortality and childhood diseases, with an increase in childhood lifespan.

Knowing this amount of information about immunizations impacts my work as a professional. I am know aware of the consequences that the lack of vaccines has. If I encounter a child that has these side effects, I will be able to know how to better serve him and his family. I will be able to provide appropriate resources and services for the child and family. Through working in collaboration with the family, we can ensure that the child will be encouraged to reach his fullest potential, despite from effects from a preventable disease. In addition, I also know how to better advocate about childhood immunizations. I can help parents remained informed about the importance of vaccines and arrange for assistance, if needed, to ensure their child receives all of the childhood immunizations. I could also enforce a general policy that all children within my care are up-to-date with their vaccines to make sure all children are protected. Through knowing more about immunizations, my opinion as a parent and a professional has been impacted. I am inspired to advocate for all children, irregardless of race, SES status, or ability, to receive their vaccines, so they can aim for the best in life.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2012 in Public Health, Week 2

 
Image

One Curly-Headed Little Girl

One Curly-Headed Little Girl

Photos dated:

– Top photo [red dress]: March 1987 – 1 year 5 months
– Bottom photo [brown plaid dress] – April 1988 – 2 1/2 years

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Week 2

 

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