And How are the Children..?

ACEI – Last Day!

Posted on: March 21, 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 8:54am

8:50 am

Just few minutes ’til my first session. I’m mildly frustrated, ’cause there are plenty of sessions, but they all overlap time-wise, which severely limits my options.

But I’m excited that there’s another policy session for me to try – this one is about grassroots organizing. Since I’ve wolfed down my sandwich, I’m gonna go find that right now.

More to come…

– Atena

11:48 am

Okay – I just typed a bunch of stuff and lost it. Breathe… Breathe… And moving on.

2 good sessions, on national and global advocacy for children and education. The first one included info on ways to engage with legislators, and practical tips for having successful advocacy/lobbying interactions. She included a nice method for developing a ‘Laser Talk’ a.k.a. ‘Elevator Speech’ that I will definitely be able to use in the future.

The second session was about achieving education for children around the world. There’s a lot going on globally that I have been really uninformed about. I learned about how entities such at the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) are supposed to be funding countries who present education plans, but the bureaucracy of the World Bank holds the money up for years and years. And FTI isn’t reaching most children who are in need of education funds, because they are in countries that don’t have central governments, or in countries where the need is so great that it overwhelms the system’s ability to provide aid.

I learned that president Obama has committed to creating a $2 billion global education fund, and the presenter talked about advocating for our federal-level legislators to support Obama’s plan. Considering the amount of money going into bailout bonuses, $2 billion seems pretty reasonable.

So I’m wrapping it up now – gonna go check out of my room and head on home. This has been a great conference, and I am so glad that I was able to come. I feel like I got as much out of it – more actually – than I did at the NAEYC conference last year, and it was much less overwhelming, with a lot less walking. I don’t feel so bad about missing the Leadership Connections conference, either – this was a great alternative. There were options for a variety of practitioners, and I like how many teacher educator options were available. I even ended up being pleasantly surprised at the quality of the advocacy offerings. I hope they get more early childhood-focused presentations for the coming year. Maybe I’ll even be one of them…

I also appreciated how accessible the association leaders and staff people were. People were very approachable, and willing to talk and connect. The more we connect, the more work we can get done.

So, thank you to everyone who has kept up with my conference diary – it’s been fun for me to write, and has really helped me organize my thoughts about this experience. Your interest and comments have been really encouraging and appreciated.

Thanks, and see you later!

– Atena


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