Innovative Ideas Award 2018-12-03T08:12:21+00:00

Announcing the 2018 Leading for Children Innovative Ideas Award Winners

AT LEADING FOR CHILDREN, we know that early childhood educators are always finding new and creative ways to nurture and inspire children — our next generation of critical thinkers and leaders. We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Leading for Children Innovative Ideas Award.

Congratulations to Ryan Tauriainen, Director of Early Childhood at the Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC, the $2,500 Grand Prize winner of the Leading for Children Innovative Ideas Award for their Mass Online Sharing to Enhance Literacy Instruction. Their carefully planned, research-based and individualized literacy curriculum was created with teachers. It’s easy to access and to use to enhance children’s literacy learning.

We also congratulate Melissa Russell, Preschool Director at the Hundred Acre School at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, winner of the $1,000 runner-up award for their idea: VIPs — Virtual and In Person Engagement Strategies. This idea was developed in close collaboration with teachers and offers many different ways to engage families with diverse needs and styles into the school community.

We are also pleased to award ten honorable mentions, each of whom receive $100 to purchase books from The Book Vine, our colleagues in Chicago.  Honorable mention winners are:

  • Shannon Banks, ReadyKids, Inc.
  • Sarah Chestnut, Bethesda Child Development Center
  • Wendy Conrad, Family Enrichment Network
  • Tracy Ehlert, B2K Learning Center
  • Stephanie Genesco, All Nestled Inn Family Childcare
  • Chloe Gray, East Allen County Schools
  • Erica Miller, Partners in Learning, Inc. MANOS Dual Language Early Childhood Program
  • Carmelina Myers, The Country Childrens Center
  • Monica Warren, Crisp County Schools
  • Stephanie Winkel, Twinkeling Stars Child Care

We thank our distinguished panel of judges who contributed their time to review all the applications received.

  • Laura Ensler, Early Education Consultant
  • Peter Pizzolongo, Early Education Consultant
  • Silvia Salcido, Director, Early Childhood Professional Development, United Way of Tucson & Southern Arizona
  • Katayoun Zadeh, Program Specialist, Arkansas State University Childhood Services

From the many applications received, our judges chose the winning entries based on how well they exemplified the entry requirements. Winners needed:

  • An easily-adopted innovation that positively impacts child development and learning.
  • An innovation that aligns with the foundational principles and core values of Leading for Children.
  • A recommendation of strong support.

We want to thank everyone who submitted an entry for the 2018 Leading for Children Innovative Ideas Award!  We look forward to inviting new and inspiring ideas in 2019.