News

SWOAEYC Sends Representatives to Washington, DC

Posted on: March 10, 2018
Ohio Team outside Sen. Sherrod Brown's office

Southwest Ohio AEYC was proud to send several representatives from Southwest Ohio to the 2018 Public Policy Forum hosted by NAEYC.  This year was the largest Public Policy Forum ever!

At Public Policy Forum, NAEYC members:

  • Form part of a team working to advance federal and state early childhood policy
  • Hear from and network with national and state policy leaders and fellow advocates
  • Get the resources and experiences they need to be an informed and effective advocate
  • Meet with members of Congress and build relationships with their staff and teams

SWOAEYC Member Bella Frueh attended this year's forum and had this to say:

Thanks to the substantial aid of Gerry Weller and Southwest Ohio AEYC, I attended the NAEYC Public Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. as a member of Ohio’s state team, where I witnessed passionate accounts from educators from all over the nation, and their policies and ideas about the state of early childhood education today.  Using the information gleaned from state testimonials and key NAEYC presentations (such as a fascinating breakdown of the federal budget), we collaborated as an Ohio team to discuss the present state and future of early childhood education in our buckeye state. Most importantly, our team crafted a discussion outline to articulate some of our concerns and commendations to staff members in the offices of our state senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

On the final day of the Forum, the Ohio team sat with Angelique, a Legislative Correspondent for Senator Sherrod Brown, as she listened to us share our stories from the early childhood field and our ideas for working towards higher quality early childhood education in our state. I even had a chance to speak personally, sharing what I knew would resonate for many educators: the true story that teachers in Ohio, and in every other state, spend hard-earned funds on classroom materials for their children each year. For me, this opportunity to feel heard is priceless to my future endeavors, both in early childhood and in regards to my drive towards affecting public policy.

As I stood in our nation’s capital, advocating for our nation’s children, I felt empowered and impassioned to be a leader in early childhood. I can confidently say that these feelings and this step forward in my career would not have been possible without Gerry Weller encouraging me to apply to the forum, and SWOAEYC supporting my involvement in any way possible. More than any move along my career path thus far, the NAEYC Public Policy Forum was a resonating experience, inspiring me to apply what I witnessed and learned in my everyday work with children, and to propel my career forward in new ways.

 SWOAEYC looks forward to next year's forum!