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For Immediate Release:
December 1, 2008
Educators Donate Money and Supplies to Early Childhood Programs Affected by Hurricane Ike
NAEYC awards scholarships to five early childhood educators affected by the hurricane to attend the 2008 Annual Conference & Expo
(Houston, Texas)– Early childhood educators and organizations that gathered in Dallas, Texas for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference and Expo donated thousands in cash contributions and supplies for early childhood programs affected by Hurricane Ike in the Gulf Coast area of Texas, bringing the total thus far to more than $117,000.
The Texas-based Collaborative for Children, the organization that collects and distributes the donations, estimates that 44,000 – 50,000 young children enrolled in the greater Houstonarea childcare centers have to find temporary childcare solutions. An estimate based on preliminary outreach indicates that nearly 70% of childcare centers and family childcare homes were damaged by Hurricane Ike, with 12% reporting major damage or damage so severe that they will not reopen.
An estimated 20,000 early childhood educators attended the NAEYC Annual Conference, the world’s largest early childhood education conference. Participants and several exhibitors also donated books and other materials to the Hurricane Ike Child Care Recovery Fund. NAEYC, along with its corporate sponsor, Teaching Strategies, Inc., first started the fundraiser in October. Teaching Strategies is responsible for a $12,000 contribution in products and for donating $25,000 of their sponsorship funds to hurricane relief.
“After the devastating impact of the recent hurricane, many NAEYC members looked for ways to help early childhood programs in the Houston and Galveston areas,” said Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph.D., executive director of NAEYC. “We know that the money and supplies donated will make a significant contribution to those programs to ensure that children affected in the region receive the continuity of care and education they deserve.”
In addition, NAEYC provided free scholarships, including hotel accommodations, to five early childhood educators affected by Hurricane Ike to attend NAEYC’s Annual Conference this year. The scholarship recipients were: Terri Bledsoe and Georgia Strain from UTMB Children’s Center, which was destroyed by the hurricane and is not expected to open; and Arden Cragar, Sondra Harrington, and Jennifer Miller from Trinity Episcopal School, which only re-opened recently. NAEYC would like to thank Texas AEYC for their assistance in helping to identify and to promote these awards to the affected programs.
NAEYC would also like to thank the generous contributions made by the following organizations:
Lakeshore Learning – The educational materials retailer provided the trucks that transported supplies to a storage location in Houston.
Community Playthings – The manufacturer donated their entire booth of furniture items, valued at nearly $30,000.
Carambola Group – The NAEYC tradeshow organizer coordinated the exhibitor donations and provided staffing support to load products into two truck trailers.
Donations can still be made to the Hurricane Ike Child Care Recovery Fund online, or by check toCollaborative for Children, 3800 Buffalo Spdwy, Suite 300, Houston, Texas, 77098.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the United States.
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.