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Together For Children Georgia Association on Young Children W I N T E R / S P R I N G

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Part I: Military Families How to Welcome a Child Dealing with a Military Transition “We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” – Maya Angelou

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: President’s Column


New Executive Director


GAYC Conference


Board Meeting Minutes


Become a Member of GAYC


Accreditation Facilitation


News from NAEYC


New NAEYC Accreditations


GAYC Award Nominations




GAYC Board Members


There are so many different colors in the tapestry, some can be overlooked. When the topic of diversity is discussed, one often pictures different ethnic groups or social circles. However, there is one diverse group that often gets left out. Many people do not consider those who are military families to be diverse, but they are. It is very important to be aware of this type of diversity in the classroom, as children of service members have many of the same, but also different needs than other children. There are many key factors in understanding how teachers can meet the needs of these children, but there are two that seem to rank highest. The first factor is understanding how teachers and other staff members help these children adjust after a move. The second factor is understanding how teachers and other staff members help these children through a parent’s deployment. Moving can be tough on children, and military families move every two to three years. Below are some tips to consider when helping a child acclimate to a new environment (activities can be modified for children of different ages): Consider contacting the child’s previous teacher/ classmates. Setting up a pen pal system is a great tool that can not only keep the child in contact with an old home, but can also introduce the other students to different states or even countries! What a great way to turn a child’s diversity into an exciting activity for the whole class. Use a map or a globe. Let the child dot or circle all the different places he or she has lived. If any other children would like to participate, that would be great! Use the map in your lesson plans to talk about each area. Incorporating a day where the children can sample different types of foods from all around America and the world is a great way to help the new child feel included, and not isolated from everyone else.

Organize a career day. Ask the child’s parent to come in uniform and give a five-minute presentation to the class. Children love to play dress up. Maybe the parent could bring in some old uniforms to put in the home living center. This would be a fun way to break the ice between the child and his or her new classmates. Assign buddies. Children love to have jobs. It also teaches them responsibility and compassion. Buddies should help new students transition to a new school. They could give them a tour of the school, show them where things go in the classroom, and simply be their first friend. Keep in touch with the parents. See how the child is doing at home compared to at school. Ask questions to find out what is working at home so that the same ideas can be applied at school. Don’t forget about the parents’ needs as well. Make sure they feel included in class field trips or special activities. When parents are at ease, the feeling often permeates to the child as well. While these tips might be helpful welcoming a child dealing with a military transition, research some more, as each child and family is different! And then, with a little effort and a lot of love, your military family will feel at home. Your classroom will have even more diversity and more learning, and your tapestry will be even brighter! Be sure to check out our next quarterly newsletter for Part II in this series: Tips for Helping a Child Through a Parent’s Deployment.

By Hannah Norris The Greenbrier School, Evans, GA GAYC Publicity and Public Relations Chair Hannah Norris is the product of a career Army family, and has lived in three different countries and three different states. Hannah has her Master's degree in Teaching and is also a proud member of the Georgia Air National Guard.



GAYC President’s Column: New Beginnings Dear GAYC Members, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as your new President. I have served on the GAYC board for over 10 years, as History and Archives Chair and Secretary of the Board. In my paid work I serve as Director of Professional Development and Center Services at Quality Care for Children, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency for Regions 1, 2, and 6; I’m based in Region 2. I am excited to help GAYC continue to grow as we move through the changes that are happening within our organization and our state! Two changes that are pertinent to GAYC are the retirement of our longtime Executive Director, Pat Minish and the start of our new Executive Director, Christina Parker. We’ve greatly appreciated the leadership Pat Minish has demonstrated

leading GAYC to be a leader in the field of Early Childhood in Georgia and nationally. She will continue to be involved with GAYC and our Strengthening Families Coalition. The Board would like to welcome Christina Parker as our new Executive Director. She brings a wealth of knowledge from a diverse employment background including Technical Assistance Manager at the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency of Central Georgia at Macon, Senior Vice President at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, and CEO of The Leadership Movement in which she provided training and consulting services for early childhood entities and others.

Early Learning Challenge (RTT -ELC) grant. Georgia was awarded $51.7 million dollars to be used over a four-year period. The grant includes 12 different projects that will help Georgia’s Early Childhood System to meet the 4 overarching goals of helping families Access child care that is High Quality, which will help children be Ready for school and to measure the impact of these efforts on our System. We will be eagerly waiting to partner with Bright From the Start to see how GAYC can help meet the goals set forth in the RCC-ELC grant. If you have ideas about how to accomplish this, please let us know!

Sincerely, Another exciting change is the future growth of the Early Childhood System in Georgia. Georgia was one of six states to be awarded funding through the Race to the Top-

Lisa Belliston, Ph.D. GAYC President


Visit Our Website The GAYC website can be viewed at The site continues to be updated every 2 to 3 days with the Latest News. You can also visit the website for the latest information about trainings and our annual conference. Save the date! The GAYC Annual Conference will be held on September 26 and 27, 2014 at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA. When you are visiting the website, click on GAYC Conference. The Call for Proposals is now online! The deadline for submitting proposals is May 2, 2014.





Welcoming Christina Parker as GAYC’s Executive Director

Christina Parker firmly believes that your very best work of Art is what you do with your life. She is passionate about investing in people in order to make their personal and professional lives fulfilling and successful. She has authored a book with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard titled, "Discover your inner strengths" and her award winning inspirational DVD on leadership was featured at the National Film Festival where it won 3 awards. She is the first female in 71 years to speak at the National Leadership Prayer Breakfast for the president of the United States. With all of this under her belt, you would think that she would choose one of these accomplishments as her most notable. She doesn't, however. She most humbly claims that learning life lessons from her battles and survival with cancer is her largest accomplishment. Christina’s life and leadership principles were put to the ultimate test in August 2003, when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer that doctors were sure would take her life. “I am sorry, but you have 6 months to live,” rang through her head as the medical team was communicating the results of the initial cancer test and right then and there, Christina decided that she would not leave her husband to raise their young children alone. She would fight through countless chemotherapy treatments and surgeries in order to win the battle. She had to once again fight for her life when she was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma in 2012. She adopted the same positive spirit and attitude to fight through this second journey successfully. Christina will tell you that she was able to be successful in her battles because was able to lean on the leaders and individuals that she had helped develop and nurture over the course of her life and career. In addition to leaning on them when she couldn’t stand by herself, Christina was fortunate enough to have some very key individuals in her life that helped build a strong foundation for her. The ability to stand firmly on the foundation that was laid and leaning on those around her are what made the difference in her boys having a “mommy” to help raise them or not. Christina is living proof that the highest return will always come from investment in people and she is a profound example that “Your very best work of ART is what you do with your life.”

Christina comes to GAYC with over 15 years of creative leadership, professional public speaking skills, and training and development in the Business as well as Educational sectors. She has a strong commitment to ensuring that all of Georgia’s children receive high quality care and that early care and education providers have access to exceptional professional development opportunities. Prior to her current role with GAYC, Christina worked for the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, was a Senior Vice President at Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, and has provided consulting services to Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Christina has a B.A. from the University of West Florida in Psychology with a concentration in Early Childhood and a M.S. in Education from Walden University. Her educational goal is to obtain her Ph.D. in “Leadership, Policy and Change in Education.” Christina and her husband Greg and their two boys, Kline age 15 and Bryce age 13 live on a small farm in Pike County called Parker Pastures. They enjoy riding horses, playing games, attending sporting events, traveling and being outdoors on the farm. They are very involved with their extended family, friends, church, and the local mission activities. The families’ goal is to go on a mission trip to a third world country to help improve the quality of life and education for orphan children and their surrounding communities. As a family, they believe in investing in those around them and building a rich tapestry of meaningful relationships. “I think many times we fail to see the value of the leadership potential in those around us because we are too busy focusing on our own wants and needs… strengths and weaknesses,” Says Christina. “The reality is that when we take the time to invest in others, we can create a movement of leadership, and that is far more productive than anything that we could achieve alone.”



GAYC GENERAL CONSENSUS VOTE REGARDING DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES’ BOARD SERVICE In an effort to be a high-performing inclusive organization, the Board of Directors of the Georgia Association on Young Children examined the research on effective board size (BoardSource, 2007; Council on Foundations, 2010; and Rodman, 2010). The GAYC Board decided that a smaller board may be more effective and will reduce costs associated with maintaining a larger board. The Board recommends a vote by General Consensus to accept the following change: Each of the 10 Districts will have 1 representative on the Board, (Currently serving District Representatives would not be eliminated from Board Service; district representatives will move from two members to one as terms end or are vacated). This change will be effected by an accompanying change in the bylaws section 3.4 article 4. By acknowledging a read receipt to the newsletter you are voting in favor of these changes. If you oppose these changes, please vote against them by emailing Lisa Belliston, Georgia Association on Young Children Board President at A majority General Consensus vote will enact this change. Sincerely, The GAYC Board of Directors

Bright From the Start Update Criminal Records Checks All child care learning centers, group day care homes and family day care home providers, directors, and employees hired on or after January 1, 2014 will be required to undergo a national fingerprint background check and obtain a satisfactory determination from DECAL. All employees hired prior to January 1, 2014 will have to undergo a national fingerprint background check and obtain a satisfactory determination from DECAL by January 1, 2017. Beginning January 1, 2019, every provider, director, and employee must have a satisfactory records check determination on file that has been issued within the past five years; a new fingerprint background check will be required every five years. Visit for more information or call 404-657-5562.





Preconference—September 25, 2014 Conference—September 26-27, 2014 State affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Southern Early Childhood Association (SECA)

48th Annual Conference

Georgia Association on Young Children

Together for Children

Gwinnett Center 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway Duluth, GA 30097

This year’s conference theme: Raising the Bar offers an exciting opportunity to provide a wide variety of learning opportunities focusing on the importance of elevating our teaching strategies through best practices in early care and education. You won’t want to miss the dynamic line up of new and innovative presentations, evidence-based best practices, and presentations that rely on solid research-grounded work in the early childhood field. Visit our website for more details:

Raising the Bar Intentional Teaching School Readiness

Family Engagement Leadership

Cultural Competence




Summary of Meeting Minutes from the Winter 2014 Board of Directors Meeting The GAYC Board recently met at Mercer University’s McDonough campus on January 11, 2014. The meeting was an eventful one as we welcomed our new Executive Director, Christina Parker, our new Board President, Lisa Belliston, and six new GAYC Board members, Erica Goldthorp, Ashley Horne, Vicki Hawkins, Cathy Durand Horne, Michelle Cutler Ervin, and Erin Carey. Board training during the meeting centered on the plans contained in Georgia’s successful Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant. After a brief overview of each project within the grant, President Lisa Belliston advised the group to become more familiar with the grant in the coming months and to continue to think of ways for GAYC to be involved. Our Conference Committee Co-Chair Cathy Durand Horne shared the highlights of the 2013 GAYC Conference, which had an overwhelmingly positive response. Participants indicated that there were plenty of opportunities to access diverse and useful information, and many participants took advantage of the advanced institute. Cathy announced this year’s conference dates and advised board members that conference proposals will be due on March 15. Dr. Pat Minish reviewed current numbers for programs including GAYC’s Accreditation Facilitation Project and Strengthening Families Georgia. GAYC currently serves 22 centers with the Accreditation Facilitation Project and will soon have an opening for 7 more programs hoping to become NAEYC Accredited. Strengthening Families Georgia continues to have a wide reach and impact across Georgia, with new parent modules and videos, face-to-face and online trainings, and upcoming Kids Count on You trainings. At the conclusion of the meeting, the GAYC Board thanked Dr. Minish for her long and meaningful service to the organization.

Laura Wagner, GAYC Secretary, Atlanta




Join or Renew your GAYC Membership Today! GAYC is the state affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). By joining GAYC, you become a member of NAEYC and SECA (Southern Early Childhood Association). Membership rates: $65 for student membership $75 for regular membership $120 for comprehensive membership To join or renew your membership, visit or





Accreditation Facilitation Project (AFP) Update This statewide project is funded in part by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning through the federal Child Care and Development Fund. Do You Know of a Center Seeking Accreditation or Reaccreditation? The GAYC AFP serves 22 centers statewide. Based on current accreditation schedules, the AFP will have additional openings for centers wanting to pursue NAEYC accreditation or re-accreditation. The AFP grant provides funding for NAEYC fees and selected DAP materials. In addition, grantees have access to training, conferences, and seminars at either reduced cost or free of charge. Centers need to be licensed and compliant with Bright from the Start. Centers that are currently in the Quality Rated program, and who are receiving TA, should finish QR before embarking on NAEYC Accreditation. If you know of any center who might be a good candidate for this project, please contact Linda at the number below. We solicit centers year round. Center Update For the 2013-2014 grant year we have had four centers receive NAEYC re-accreditation renewal. They are: Bright Horizons, Deerfield, Premier Academy, Sheltering Arms East Lake, and Sheltering Arms Mansour Center. Congratulations to all for achieving this level of quality! Currently we have one center that has received a NAEYC visit and is awaiting results. Six centers will have NAEYC visits before the end of March, 2013. Since July, 2013, we have accepted six centers into the project. NAEYC Accreditation Institute, sponsored by GAYC, in Atlanta GAYC will sponsor the NAEYC Accreditation Institute the week of March 31-April 4, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. The Institute is open to all and partial scholarships are available. All AFP center directors who have not taken the Institute will attend. Registration forms will be sent shortly and will be available on the website at Linda A. Travers, Ph.D. AFP Coordinator 404-222-0014

Week of the Young Child/Month of the Young Child Update The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The purpose of the week is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. Though WOYC is celebrated nationally, Georgians celebrate Month of the Young Child (MOYC) throughout April. Visit GAYC’s 2014 MOYC Calendar for event ideas and to share with others! NAEYC offers a variety of resources for planning your community's celebration of Week of the Young Child.



RED FEZ Reading Club

The Yaarab Shriners and other Shriners in Georgia, and Bright from the Start (BFTS) are working together to offer complimentary tickets to the May 2014 Yaarab Shrine Circus & Fair to children who participate in the RED FEZ Reading Club. The primary purpose of the Club is to improve early reading skills by encouraging increased reading by young children and their families, friends, and neighbors. By doing so, children may earn up to five circus tickets each for reading up to five books between March to May 2014. For more information, visit:

The Office of Child Care (OCC) is pleased to announce the availability of a new resource—the National Program Standards Crosswalk Tool. The Crosswalk Tool was developed through a public-private partnership to help States and Territories that are developing and aligning early childhood (EC) program standards across sectors. There has been tremendous progress at the Federal, State, and local levels to bring EC programs together under a common vision. The tool allows users to search and compare the content of national EC program standards across 10 topic and multiple subtopic areas. The tool is available at:

Call for Nominations! GAYC will soon be accepting nominations for the following positions, which will begin their terms in 2015: VICE PRESIDENT FOR MEMBERSHIP SERVICES VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC POLICY/INFORMATION AWARENESS PRESIDENT ELECT For more information, contact Michelle Cutler-Ervin, Nominations & Development Chair, at





News From NAEYC

NAEYC has opportunities for members to get involved and help shape the future of the early childhood profession. You can serve in your state community and at the national level. State or Local Community Leadership Opportunities: Contact GAYC for information about service opportunities in our state. National Leadership Opportunities: Many NAEYC programs offer leadership opportunities as reviewers or consulting editors. In addition, current NAEYC members are eligible to serve in governance as members of the NAEYC Governing Board or the Council for NAEYC Accreditation of Programs for Young Children. Visit this link for information about specific opportunities:

The Intentional Teacher Now Available NAEYC's newest book, The Intentional Teacher, Revised Edition, is available for advanced sale. This edition guides teachers to balance both child-guided and adult-guided learning experiences that respond to children’s interests and that focus on what children need to learn to be successful in school and life. This edition offers new chapters on science, social studies, and approaches to learning. Also included are updated, expanded information on social and emotional development, physical development and health, language and literacy, math, and the creative arts. In each chapter are many practical teaching strategies that are illustrated with classroom-based anecdotes.



New NAEYC-Accredited Programs in Georgia (since 10/1/13) Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers, 350 East Lake Blvd., Atlanta, GA 30317

Partnership for Communication Action: Columbia Head Start / Early Head Start Center, 1275 N. Clarendon Avenue, Avondale Estates, GA 30002

Fort Stewart /Hunter Army Airfield, CYSS, 76 Lindquist Bldg 475, Fort Stewart, GA 31314

Hillside Learning Center, 2450 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta, GA 30311

Indianhead Child Development Center, 6351 Indian Head Rd. Building #2389, Fort Benning, GA 31905

Ninth District Opportunity Hall County Head Start, 1300 Athens Street, Gainesville, GA 30507

King of Peace Episcopal Day School, Inc., 6230 Laurel Island Pkwy, Kingsland, GA 31548

Ninth District Opportunity Towns County Head Start/PreK Program, 1150 Konahetah Road, Hiawassee, GA 30546

Open Arms Lutheran Child Development Center, 4000 Roswell Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30342

Santa Fe Child Development Center, 7151 Hoff Street; Bldg 9242, Fort Benning, GA 31905

Lanette L. Suttles Child Development Center, 30 Courtland Street #G-17, Atlanta, GA 30303

Trinity Early Learning Center, 3003 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30327

Bright Horizons, 3105 Webb Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004

Buford Head Start / Pre-K, 84 Maddox Road, Buford, GA 30518

The Atlanta Children's Shelter, Inc., 607 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

CS & Kids, LLC dba Legacy Academy for Children, 5390 Flynn Crossing, Alpharetta, GA 30005

Robins Air Force Base Child Development Center East, 78 FSS/FSFCE 755 10th St. Building 943 and 942, Warner Robins, GA 31098

Tri-County Child Development Center(Head Start / Early Head Start), 116 Rodgers Street, Buena Vista, GA 31803

The Goddard School, Woodstock dba Little Voyagers School, 3115 Parkbrooke Circle, Woodstock, GA 30189

Washington County NB & PW Club, Inc. Head Start/Pre-K Glascock Center, 1079 School Circle, Gibson, GA 30810

Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Center at the Mansour Center, 995 Roswell Street Suite 400, Marietta, GA 30060

McIntosh Trail Early, 630 Zebulon Road, Barnesville, GA 30204

Early Childhood Education Training Opportunities Register at Questions? Call (206) 673-2608 or send an email to





GAYC 2014 Quality Service Awards: Seeking Nominations It's that time of year again - time to honor the outstanding ECE professionals in our field. We all know and work with special individuals whose tireless efforts continue to increase the quality of education for Georgia's young children. They are committed, enthusiastic leaders working hard to advance the field and give young children the best possible start. Who do you know that deserves to be honored for their efforts? Each year GAYC recognizes individuals who have made a significant difference in the lives of children ages birth through third grade in the state of Georgia. GAYC has developed fourteen award categories to acknowledge all spheres of influence in early care and education. We hope you will take the time to review the awards and nominate a person or persons you know who deserve recognition for their contribution to early care and education in Georgia. Winners are selected by the GAYC Scholarships & Awards Committee. The deadline for submitting a nomination is June 6, 2014. Award winners will be featured in the GAYC conference program. The winners in all categories will be recognized at the GAYC Conference Banquet Friday evening, September 26, 2014. You should have received an email with the nomination forms earlier in March. If you would like a form or would like more information, please contact Erica Goldthorp at the number below. Erica Goldthorp GAYC Scholarships and Awards Chair 770-642-6722 or 1-800-227-3410

Prevent Child Abuse Georgia Re-launches Statewide 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline Prevent Child Abuse Georgia (PCA Georgia), housed in the Center for Healthy Development at the Georgia State University School of Public Health, announced the return of a referral line for Georgians concerned about the healthy development of children and the prevention of child abuse and neglect: 1-800-CHILDREN. With the generous support of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, PCA Georgia will re-launch this free resource, which had shut down in 2011. The line began operating in February 2014. The 1-800-CHILDREN Helpline is professionally staffed by operators from Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia and will operate Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Unlike the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) statewide centralized intake number, the Helpline is not a number to call in crisis or when making a report of child abuse or neglect. Rather, operators will be available to provide information regarding parenting support, community resources, counseling services, referrals for legal needs, concern about the well-being of a child or family member, family violence, and other child maltreatment prevention issues. To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, visit If your agency or organization would like to be included in the Helpline Resource and Referral Database, contact Julia Neighbors at 404-413-1419 or



Anita Dailey GAYC SECA Representative, Macon, GA

GAYC Office Staff* Christina Parker, M.S.

Brionnea Williams, M.A., J.D.

Executive Director

SFG APN Coordinator

Linda A Travers, Ph.D. Accreditation Facilitation Project Coordinator

Carol Petty, M.S., CPA


Kerry Liebling, B.S.

Business Manager

GAYC Projects Coordinator

Conference Coordinator

Vision Our vision is a world in which all young children have the learning opportunities they need for healthy development supported by early childhood educators who have educators who have education, financial support, and the recognition of their community.

Mission The mission of the Georgia Association on Young Children is to encourage and support healthy development in young children by working with other (1) to increase public awareness of the importance of early childhood education and (2) to improve the quality of programs for young children through learning opportunities for early childhood educators. Comments: Your comments, suggestions and articles are welcomed. If you have had a personal experience as a result of an article you read in Together for Children, write us. If accepted by the editor, your article or letter could be published in a future issue of the newsletter. Please send all correspondence to Emma Laing, Ph.D., R.D., GAYC Newsletter Chair, at *The .algx email extensions have been discontinued. Please make note that the new extension is


GAYC 2014 Board of Directors




Lisa Belliston



Past President

Laurel Gulish Beckham

VP for Program & Professional Development

Ayanna Hawkins

VP for Member Services

Courtney May

VP for Public Policy/Information Awareness

Roberta Malavenda

VP for Administration & Organizational Development

Raynice Jean-Sigur


Thomas Brock


Laura Wagner

SECA Representative

Anita Dailey

District 1 Southwest

Jeannette Lucas Charlene Heath Duncan

District 2 Southeast

Sandi Boatright OPEN

District 3 Coastal

Maranda Porter OPEN

District 4 East Central

Gena Sapp Betty-Jean Exume

District 5 Central


District 6 West Central

Teri Lynn Ferentz OPEN

District 7 Metro-West

Lee Shaw Elise Albrecht

Emma Laing Phillip Baumgarner

Molly-Rose Kosiak Ramona Warren

Hollie Queen OPEN

District 8 Piedmont District 9 Northeast District 10 Northwest

Lisa White OPEN Cathy Durand Horne Stacy Schwartz Thomas Brock Katy Gregg Emma Laing Michelle Cutler-Ervin Regina Folks Crystal Rhodes Katie Hagan Hannah Norris Victoria Hawkins Ashley Horne Erica Goldthorp Diane Bales Erin Carey

Local Student Chapter of GAYC

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Advancing Careers Constitution & By-Laws GAYC Conference Local Chapters Finance Membership Newsletter Nominations & Dev. Professional Development Public Policy Publications Publicity & P.R. Quality & Accreditation Resource Development Scholarship & Awards Technology Week of the Young Child

Georgia College & State University Student Chapter Stacy Schwartz

Winter/Spring 2014 GAYC newsletter  
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