ASC Christian honored at SLVECC ceremony
Adams State College Dr. Linda Christian, professor of teacher education, was the recipient of the San Luis Valley Early Childhood Council Inspiration Award. She received the honor on August 10 during the Eight Annual Early Childhood Awards Ceremony at the Inn of the Rio Grande.
"I had no idea I was receiving an award," Christian said. The ECCSLV asked her to attend under the pretense of giving a talk. "I was very pleased, part of the award was a giant inflatable saguaro cactus." She also received the book "The Seed and the Giant Saguaro," a small live cactus and a beautiful print of a Southwest sunset.
The Inspiration Award is given out every year to a person in the community who is seeking to advance the cause of excellence in the Early Childhood field. According to Sherry Valdez, ECCSLV executive director, the recipient inspires and challenges to continually improve the field of early childhood education. Valdez said Christian was this year's recipient because of her work in creating and strengthening the BA Early Childhood Cohort, as well as her work at the state level in Early Childhood Education. She, along with several of her students will be presenting at this year's NAEYC conference in Anaheim, Calif.
According to the website eccslv.org ECCSLV's mission is to ensure quality prenatal, early care, and education for children and families in the San Luis Valley. Christian is on the advisory team for ECCSLV. She is also a member of the P-3 subcommittee of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter's P-20 Education Coordinating Council. Christian co-chairs the Effective Early Childhood Professional area of the P-3 Professional Development Task Force.
Christian also coordinates the Adams State BA Interdisciplinary Studies Early Childhood Education Non-Licensure Program. According to Christian, the program meets the growing need in the early childhood field. The National Head Start mandate states that fifty percent of teachers must have BA degrees in early childhood education. Christian teaches the courses for the BA program with assistance from adjunct faculty. "I am it," she said. Coordinating and teaching courses for the BA program requires travel to Colorado Springs and other locations.
"This summer we are graduating 16 from the program and starting three new cohorts including a San Luis Valley based cohort, and one in Pueblo and another in Colorado Springs."
Christian said she believes early childhood education is important. Local principals have tracked students with preschool education and find they score higher than those without. "Preschool provides opportunities for children to learn through play and that is the best way for them to learn."