NAEYC Student Chapter connects students to professional opportunities for educators
by Chantele Fox, Staff Writer
The first five years of life are proven to be especially crucial in the development of a young child. For it is during this developmental period in which cognitive, physical, social and emotional development are most influenced. Together with their families, Early Childhood Educators strive to provide children with the best resources and opportunities to assist their overall development and growth. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Schoolcraft College Student Chapter has dedicated their focus to providing those students entering or currently working within the field of Early Childhood Education with opportunities of professional development, fellowship while providing services to children and their families throughout the community which are centered around the importance of education. Furthermore, the Early Childhood Education and Special Education Departments provide opportunity for involvement for those students who are interested in the field of Special Education.
Currently, Schoolcraft has a student chapter which is part of The Council for Exceptional Children, the leading professional development organization dedicated to educators working within the field of Special Education.
“The student group has provided and participated in many events over the years in each of our three focus areas,” said Elizabeth Grace, Professor and Faculty Co-Advisor for the Chapter. “From having student leaders attend countywide early childhood advisory board meetings such as Great Start Collaborative Wayne County to workshops on interviewing and career fairs, our students learn from professionals in the field. Our community service activities have benefited children and families in Head Start programs, homeless shelters, elementary schools and right here on campus our Schoolcraft College Food Pantry. Of course, we like to have fun with all that we do too, so we have had bowling nights, game nights, karaoke fun and parties.”
Currently, the chapter offers weekly open lab times every Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon in Liberal Arts 240. In addition, they hold monthly study tables which are devoted to helping students prepare for exams and coursework. The next study tables will take place on Thursday, Nov. 29 in Liberal Arts 240 during their regular meeting times.
“We always look forward to having new students join,” said Natalie Linares, co-president of the NAEYC Schoolcraft College Student Chapter, in regards to student membership. “I think that joining the chapter would benefit students because it will allow them to create friendships and make connections with other Early Childhood professionals. As a student, this chapter has led to various opportunities to become a part of the professional world of Early Childhood Education, such as attending the NAEYC Professional conference in Grand Rapids. I was able to learn from professionals that have been in the field of Early Childhood Education and also meet people who were just starting out like me.”
The Early Childhood and Special Education Departments encourage students interested in either focusing on joining the student chapters by reaching out to Kayla Roszkowski, Membership Chair, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting naeyc.org.
However, upon completion of the advanced field experience course, students will automatically earn membership into the national group. Co-faculty advisors for the NAEYC Schoolcraft College Student Chapter are Professor Elizabeth Grace and Professor Elaine Malafouris who “are thrilled to watch students grow in leadership, advocacy and professionalism through engagement with the student club,” said Grace.
For more information pertaining to upcoming events or further information about the Schoolcraft College Student Chapters of the National Association for the Education of Young Children or the Council for Exceptional Children, contact the Student Activities Office at 734-462-4422.