5 Takeaways from the Alabama Early Childhood Education Conference

Last week I spoke at the Alabama Early Childhood Education Conference, which is organized by the Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education (AECA).

The AECA has a noble mission: “To provide members with professional development opportunities and to advocate for best practice in the care, development, and early education of all Alabama’s young children.”

I want to thank Book Vine for including me in this event (follow them on Instagram)

5 Takeaways from the conference

1. Build relationships
I enjoyed connecting with education professionals, including authors from around the country.

2. Learn from others
I learned from teachers about their quest for understanding other cultures. Some of the smaller towns lack easy access due to limited resources. They live in places with a a homogeneous population, where there is less demand and incentive for parents — but not for teachers. Lack of Internet access, limited media coverage also play a part.

3. Boost awareness
This conference undoubtedly highlights the importance of diversity in children’s literature. More must be done through education, curricula, teacher workshops, cultural events, and press coverage.

4. Dinner with Authors
The author’s dinner the night before the presentation was a great opportunity to learn about work by other authors such as Juana Martinez-Neal, Deb Pilutti, and Barney Saltzberg. The dinner was organized by our host, Amy Vandament CEO of Book Vine and Karen Windsor.

5. The People of Mobile
The people of Mobile, Alabama are most welcoming and helpful. A special shoutout to the hotel manager who brought me in his truck to the airport so I didn’t miss my flight!


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