Voices in Education

New Year’s Resolutions from the Inaugural Class of PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions

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This year has been filled with love, mud, positive change, and milestones in the field of Early Learning.  Educators, legislators, caretakers, administrators, and proponents from around the country have doubled down on their mission to advance the lives of young children. More often than not, the world only sees the product of the hard work and dedication of the field - not the pathway to get there.

In November of 2018, PBS Kids selected 17 Early Learning Champions from across the United States and gathered them at the NAEYC Annual Conference for a summit to embark on a journey to change that narrative. The PBS Kids Early Learning Champions came to the summit as changemakers, leaders, and advocates of Early Learning and left as an inspired network - furthering each educator’s dedication to the lives of young children.

2018 has been an amazing year for young children, the people who work with and for them, and our Early Learning Champions.  

New Year’s resolutions and inspiration from some of our PBS Kids Early Learning Champions!


Looking ahead. In 2019, I will:

Traci Piltz: Continue to encourage teachers to innovate in their classrooms with technology in creative and playful ways!

William Toliver Jr: Continue to break down barriers for young children!

Natalie Beach: Find ways to advocate for myself, my students, and my fellow educators to really evaluate what we are doing, how we are teaching, and where we are headed. I want to be sure that my colleagues and I are providing exceptional education and experiences to children without staying inside the box for simplicity’s sake, even if that means having some hard yet respectful conversations along the way. I want to push myself, my peers, and my superiors to explore their options of best practice to make school a wonderful, wonder-filled place to be.

Andrea Zoppo..AKA Miss Ladybug: Use the Fred Rogers’ 6 Fundamentals of Early Learning Readiness to build a framework for my approach to nature-based education and introduce these Fundamentals to school staffs inviting them to embrace these important ways of thinking of development in their own way in their classrooms.

Susanne Tata: Work to make sure my class is little boy friendly so they can be successful, have fun, and still be energetic little boys.

Tina Mosley: Expand my Family Home Childcare Center into an enhanced Childcare Center by adding 16-20 Infant/Toddler slots.  I will add on a 900 square foot addition to my home. My community and surrounding communities highest demands are for Infant care!I also will complete the infrastructure of my training program for new Early Educators. The immediate need for quality teachers is the key to quality programs for our children!

Angela Hamilton: Find or create as many pathways for  parents as I can to help them engage with me as their child’s first teacher.

Avonda Ellison: Spice up my classroom with some different types of curriculum. I want to try something new every month with my children just to make sure we stay fresh and aren't doing the same thing over and over.  Professionally, I plan to continue with my journey of becoming an accredited Family Day Care Home.

Jamal Berry: Utilize the early learning champion award opportunity to grow myself and grow the future leaders in DC!

Cora McNair: Continue to motivate and build the lives of young children. I will focus on outcomes and ways to attain the best outcomes so that these young children will have a great start in becoming successful, contributing members of society.  I want to work with all the champions that I met and see what great and wonderful things they are doing and be inspired to do new and innovative things with the young children I encounter on a daily basis. I will continue to write books about children and post ideas and inspirational words to encourage others.  I will enjoy being a part of my new village. I believe that all of the champions coming together created a new and wonderful village that will work together and take early childhood development, ideas, interactions and concerns to a higher level. I will be involved by starting a newsletter for my own classroom and recording more and more of the interest and interactions of children.  I will stay in touch with my PBS person and exchange ideas with her and look at my community and assess the needs of young children in need.

Shelly Bautista: Push myself to elevate my professional voice. If there is one thing that this Early Learning Champion program has taught me is that we as teachers have special talents that we bring to the table. With the support of my community partners and as well as tapping into social media @spunkylittlescholars. I want to share dialogue with other teachers, community members and all who support EL to gain a global perspective of early childhood education and to provide the best learning experience for my students.

William Toliver Jr. and his Fellow Early Learning Champions

William Toliver Jr. and his Fellow Early Learning Champions Early Learning Champions

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