Because children only benefit from quality early learning programs, the Child Care Council strives to recognize and support examples of quality experiences. This year, the Council is awarding four Cate Riley Innovation for Quality Prizes, three to Westchester programs and a fourth to a child care resource and referral agency in Syracuse. Funding comes from the Cathryn Riley Leadership Fund established years ago at the Council for a respected and beloved Council staff person who died in a tragic accident. The selections were made by a committee comprised of Lottie Harris, former Council executive director, Dr. Pat Amanna of the Child Care Center at Purchase College and Mary Lou Sgro, Westchester Community College faculty member and current president of WAEYC, and Kathy Halas, Executive Director of the Council.
- It Takes a Village to Educate a Child, Sonia-Marshall Brown, Executive Director, for “Cooperative Play Skills with Lego Robotics” an afterschool program for children with special needs and typically developing children together, that teaches social and leadership skills embedded in a Legos Robotics class.
- Little House Day Care, Elizabeth Knowles, Owner/Director, for “The Fundamentals of Play”, a new support community for family and group family programs through hands-on trainings and forums.
- Little Angels Child Development, Angela Bayer-Perseeco, Owner/Director for “From Seeds to Sharing”, a community garden project where the children will create a vegetable garden from scratch and donate their produce to the Sharing Community, so that they learn about both gardening and giving.
- Child Care Solutions, Inc., Lori Schakow, Executive Director, for ”Talking is Teaching: Talk, Read and Sing”, to improve the kindergarten readiness of children enrolled in legally-exempt care in Onondaga County, part of a county-wide initiative of the Early Childhood Alliance.
All of the recipients will be sharing the results of their projects so that the Council can share with the Westchester early care and education community.