“...If we want our children to be resilient and optimistic, we need to model it.”

--Mary Beth Hewitt
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Become An Optimistic Leader

We are a community of Optimistic Leaders for Children. We are the adults — directors and teachers, parents and policy makers, receptionists and cooks — who co-create early learning ecosystems for young children. We believe:

  • Equity for all children begins with equity for all of the adults in their lives.

  • All children deserve the adults in their lives to be optimistic leaders, and that by working closely together and sharing common practices, we can provide children with the strong nurturing relationships for learning that they need to thrive.

  • All children must have access to these adults and therefore, equity in early learning is not a recommendation but rather, an imperative.

Why do we need Optimistic Leaders for Children?

We know that young children thrive in an environment of trusting relationships with the adults who care for and educate them. All aspects of the children’s development — intellectual, social, emotional, physical, behavioral, and moral — are shaped by the relationships they have with the adults in their lives

Read more on Medium

The Five Commitments

Five Commitments

Meet the Optimistic Leadership Council

The National Council is comprised of early learning professionals from a wide variety of roles and regions across the country.

  • Margo Dichtelmiller

    Board President
    Leading for Children
    South Orange, NJ

  • Irene Garneau

    Department Supervisor of Early Childhood
    West Hartford Public Schools
    West Hartford, CT

  • Jill Gunderman

    Program Coordinator
    Arkansas State University Childhood Services
    Jonesboro, AR

  • Dr. Robin Hancock

    Leading for Children Board Member
    New York, NY

  • Elena Jaime

    Associate Director
    The Brick Church School
    New York, NY

  • Tunga Otis

    Family Engagement Specialist
    Mississippi Community College Board
    Jackson, MS

  • Maria Rosado

    Twos Head Teacher
    West Side Montessori School
    New York, NY

  • Silvia Salcido

    Director, Early Childhood Professional Development
    United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona
    Tucson, AZ

  • Casey Sims

    Pre-K Teacher
    Harris Early Learning Center
    Birmingham, AL

  • Tara Skiles

    Director, Professional Development
    Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education
    Montgomery, AL

  • Serene Stevens

    Educational Leadership Coach
    NY Early Childhood Professional Development Institute
    Bronx, NY

  • Larramie Sylvester

    Cook and Music Teacher
    Global Connection Learning Center
    Jackson, MS

  • Sharmaine Thomas-Binns

    ABC Paraeducator and Student Services Specialist
    Monticello Pre-K
    Monticello, AR

  • Tia Walters

    Teacher
    West Point Christian Preschool
    Hattiesburg, MS

In Conversation

Upcoming Events
Power and Equity in the Early Learning Community

Choose the time that works best for you!

Monday, 10/9/20 from 2-3pm ET

Wednesday, 10/11/20 from 6-7pm ET

Using the 5 Commitments, together we will discuss strategies to ensure our children grow and develop in a more equitable world.

Register for the afternoon session Register for the evening session
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