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June 2020

IEL’s Message About Racism and Inequality

We started this year with a pandemic that turned our lives upside down and caused incredible fear, isolation, and uncertainty. Recently, we witnessed once again racism and violence throughout our country. As early childhood professionals and family members of young children, it is our responsibility to make sure that all children feel valued, heard, and seen. Children develop positive and negative attitudes through their direct experiences, what they see and hear on the media through sources such as children’s books and movies, and from caregivers who are significant in their lives. They observe us. They listen to us. They imitate us. We all need to reflect on the messages we are conveying to children who look to us for “what is right.” As much as our actions and words influence children, so does our silence. We need to share our voices of inclusivity, social justice, and equity.

IEL strives to celebrate all forms of human diversity, including differences in ability, race, language, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and family structure. Consider rereading this blog on Multicultural Children’s Book Day; while a few years old, is still very relevant today. You may also enjoy Dr. James D. Anderson’s FREE Coursera webinar on Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History.

COVID Parenting Pep Talks
parent and child shoes together

Parenting on a regular day is pretty tough. Parenting through months of a global pandemic can add layers of stress we never imagined. IEL has three new blogs that well help you (Re)focus on Positive Guidance, Make Time for Connection, and Be With Your Child’s Big Feelings. Take some time to read these and feel encouraged!

Farewell to Rebecca Swartz
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The pep talks mentioned above, along with countless other IEL resources, have been written by our content specialist, Dr. Rebecca Swartz, who has contributed greatly to IEL during her time with the project. In the fall, folks will be able to find her at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she will be starting as an assistant professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. We wish her well as she transitions to an exciting new role!

Helping Children Stay Active

The nice summer weather may encourage all of us to get outside and be active. IEL has several resources related to young children’s physical health. We have an Early Learning Moments video on Physical Health and Development, a blog about supporting preschoolers with disabilities in physical activities, and a tip sheet about Physical Fitness in Preschool-Age Children.

Early Childhood Collective (ECC) Members Are Hard at Work!

Faculty and staff on ECC projects are busy supporting the wider early childhood community. Recently, Dr. Micki Ostrosky (IEL, MLFN) and her colleague Dr. Paddy Favazza presented a webinar for The Center on children’s physical activity. Additionally, Dr. Rebecca Swartz (IEL, EIC, and IECAM) and Dr. Catherine Corr (IECAM), will be part of a Facebook Live panel discussion for WILL Education. This event will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 18.

Help Us Serve You Better

The IEL Project wants to hear from you to learn how we can best serve you through our Web-based resources. Please complete our online survey and let us know how we can support you in your role as a parent, caregiver, or teacher of young children.

Question Answering Service

The Illinois Early Learning Project provides reliable resources and information in response to your questions on the parenting, care, and education of young children in Illinois. To take advantage of this service, please call our toll-free number at (877) 275-3227 during business hours or send us your question using our online form.

Upcoming Conferences

ILAEYC Growing Futures, October 22–24, recently announced as virtual event

Piecing It All Together Conference, postponed until October 22, Collinsville, IL

Given the implications of COVID-19, many conferences and professional development offerings have been canceled. It is best to check with the sponsor before making plans to attend any event in the near future.

Tell a Friend!

Please forward our e-newsletter to your friends to help spread Illinois Early Learning News throughout the state!

We'd Like to Hear From You

For more information about the Illinois Early Learning Project, contact us at (877) 275-3227 or iel@illinois.edu.

 
 
 
 
 

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