Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition Named Winner of the Opening Minds USA Innovation Award

March 3rd, 2014

PHOTO:  Michael Schulte and Gail Conway presenting Jenna w/ Innovation Award.

 

CHICAGO– On Friday, January 31 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, Opening Minds USA celebrated the innovators who advance the field of early childhood care and education with an awards ceremony and reception to name the winner of its first Innovation Award. The event was part of the 58th Opening Minds USA Conference & Expo held at the hotel from January 29 through February 1, and attended by more than 5,000 professionals and organizations that educate and care for young children. Nine Innovation Award finalists received recognition at the awards ceremony and reception and showcased their designs and products at the Conference and Expo.

 

Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition (ECRR), a product of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Public Library Association (PLA) was named winner of Opening Minds USA first Innovation Award. ECRR is a parent education initiative.  It stresses early literacy begins with the primary adults in a child’s life.  The ECRR toolkit empowers public libraries to assume an essential role in supporting early literacy within a community. The 2nd Edition incorporates recommendations that evolved out of an in-depth evaluation of the original initiative and an extensive literature review.

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                MEDIA CONTACT:  Priscilla Hunter
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CHICAGO–Celebrating the innovators who advance the field of early childhood care and education Opening Minds USA named Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition (ECRR), a product of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Public Library Association (PLA) the winner of its first Innovation Award.  The winner was announced on Friday, January 31 at an awards ceremony and reception at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place as part of the 58th Opening Minds USA Conference & Expo. Follett Early Learning sponsored the event.

 

Librarian Jenna Nemec-Loise accepted the award on behalf of the ALSC and PLA. ECRR is a parent education initiative.  It stresses early literacy begins with the primary adults in a child’s life.  The ECRR toolkit empowers public libraries to assume an essential role in supporting early literacy within a community. The 2nd Edition incorporates recommendations that evolved out of an in-depth evaluation of the original initiative and an extensive literature review.  Further information about ECRR can be found at http://www.everychildreadytoread.org.

 

“It was truly my honor to accept the 2014 Opening Minds Innovation Award on behalf of ALSC, PLA, and children’s librarians everywhere,” said Nemec-Lois. “We’re thrilled to see libraries so warmly embraced by the early education community in our collective work to improve outcomes for young children and families. Thank you for welcoming us into the conversation.”

 

The Opening Minds Innovation Award, a signature Opening Minds USA event, honors people throughout the nation whose innovations advance the field of early childhood care and education.

 

Nine finalists selected by a panel of early education experts and entrepreneurs including Azin Mehrnoosh, founder and chairman of CauseLabs and Nick Inzucchi, Interaction Designer at IDEO, also received recognition for their work:

 

● Avance, Inc, a parent-child education program that teaches participants the importance of their role in their child’s development.
● Kaymbu, an iPad-based documentation and communication platform to capture the essence of student development and strengthen relationships between home and school.
● Little eLit.com, refocuses the role of the children’s librarian as the media mentor in communities across the continent.
● Namaste Charter School & Founder Allison Slade, a groundbreaking education model that combines health and wellness with academic rigor in a peaceful environment.
● PRIMO (U.K.), a playful physical programming interface that teaches children the basics of programming logic without the need for literacy.
● The Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, a medical-legal partnership model that coordinates care across complex intersections of early intervention, developmental therapies, health care, educational mandates and public benefits for young children with disabilities and special health needs.
● The Early Math Collaborative, Erikson Institute, and its Principle Investigator, Jie-Qi Chen, narrows the achievement gap and improves the practice of early mathematics education for inner city children during the critical first years of schooling.
● University of Wisconsin-River Falls Nature Playground and Molly Gerrish, a multidisciplinary redesign process of a playground to reconnect children and teachers to nature and promote the development of sustainability practices.
● Granite School District, funds expansion of early childhood program through social-impact bond. This is the first investment of this kind. Social-impact bonds are loans that seek to achieve positive outcomes and reduce future costs by investing in prevention and intervention programs in the public sector. It is intended to save taxpayers money and provide a financial return for investors.

 

El Valor received the Service to Young Children Award for its commitment to enrich and empower urban families who are disabled, disenfranchised or underserved to achieve excellence and participate fully in community life.  Early childhood pioneer and University of Illinois professor emerita of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Lilian Katz received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her trailblazing work in early childhood care and education.

 

Opening Minds USA is the trusted advisor and first alert professional resource to people who educate and care for young children. Opening Minds has gained notoriety for its novel solutions and for designing transformative learning experiences such as the Opening Minds Early Education and Head to Toe Infant Toddler Conferences, Masters of Technology Integration Classes, as well as Symposia and Institutes.  Opening Minds USA puts good ideas to use.  The Opening Minds Innovation Award identifies and scales good ideas which could assist people with the challenges of raising, caring and educating young children while advancing the entire early care and education industry for a global community. For more information, please go to www.openingmindsusa.org or follow along on twitter @om4ece and hashtag #openingmindsusa.
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