Two Cocalico-area early childhood educators feted

By on April 29, 2015

Early Childhood Innovative Connections has acknowledged two Cocalico-area professionals in the early childhood education field who are making outstanding efforts to create meaningful experiences that nurture children’s growth and development, support families, and model exceptional qualities and innovative approaches for peers to follow.

Photos courtesy Early Childhood Innovative Connections Erin Wise with some of her enthusiastic pupils.

Photos courtesy Early Childhood Innovative Connections
Erin Wise with some of her enthusiastic pupils.

This year’s award recipient is Erin Wise, a Millersville University graduate and preschool teacher at Cocalico Care Center in Denver. Leola Gibison, Reamstown Early Learning Center, Reamstown, was a nominee.

Leola Gibison

Leola Gibison, at left, with a colleague.

“These remarkable teachers may not work together day to day or have the same backgrounds and experiences, but they are each making quality early learning a priority in their own ways for the children and families they reach,” says Jennifer Henry, coordinator of the ECIC award program. “Their impacts make a difference immediately for the children, and over time for the entire community.”

High quality early learning experiences enable young children to have stronger foundations for Kindergarten success and the increasing demands of formal education. Higher graduation rates, lower crime rates, reduced dependence on public assistance and higher incomes are all associated through decades of research with quality early learning experiences.

“I know that there are other teachers who do even more than I do, but we all do the best we are able for the children and hope it makes a difference,” says Gibison of her nomination. In the background her four- and five-year-old students exclaim: “Yay, Miss Lee!”

Wise was thrilled with her award.

“I am very excited and honored. My whole life, since I was a little girl, I just wanted to be a teacher,” says Wise.

She was presented with her award, along with a basket of teacher appreciation gifts, at a luncheon including her peers and other nominees.

Supporting recognition of the nominees for the ECIC Early Childhood Educator of the Year are Simon Lever, Isaac’s Restaurant and Deli, and MGS Trailers.

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