Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC) is pleased to join Valley of the Sun United Way and a coalition of other non-profit organizations as a partner in United Way’s plan to create Mighty Change in Maricopa County.
AzAEYC was recently awarded a $5,000 grassroots initiative grant from the Valley of the Sun United Way to continue efforts to elevate the voices of marginalized early childhood educators and to center diversity, equity, access, and inclusion as we build a more equitable early childhood profession.
Funding from this grant will support AzAEYC to interview approximately 10 early childhood educators and parents over the next year with targeted outreach with Black, Brown, Indigenous, and people of color. These stories will then be shared on a variety of public platforms including on AzAEYC’s social media platforms and azaeyc.org.
In addition, the funding will support up to two trainings for early childhood educators, parents, and community members on how to elevate their voices and be a champion for young children in their communities.
Over the past three years, AzAEYC has developed its organizational capacity to design, prepare, and produce a “Stories from the Field” section on the AzAEYC website and on social media. “Stories from the Field” features interviews, blog posts, and articles from early childhood educators, community champions, and parents and is focused on increasing awareness around the importance of early care and education in local communities. To meet our organization’s equity goals, AzAEYC intentionally prioritizes recruiting, supporting, and elevating the voices and stories of Black, Brown, and Indigenous educators and parents.
“This grant from the Valley of the Sun United Way provides us with dedicated funding to ensure we can continue to amplify the voices of the early childhood profession,” said Dr. Eric Bucher, AzAEYC chief executive officer. “We are excited to continue and expand our Stories from the Field project and to be part of the Mighty Change initiative alongside United Way and other community partners as we work to shine light on our field’s most pressing needs and create vibrant, thriving communities for Arizona’s children, families, and educators.”
AzAEYC works to advance a well-supported , well-compensated early childhood profession and provides training and technical assistance around anti-bias education, early childhood advocacy, and culturally-responsive teaching practices.