The Early Learning Council, overseeing body for the Early Learning Division, has selected two recipients for the Lynne Angland Award. The award recognizes people and organizations who improve safety, quality, affordability and access to child care in Oregon at both the state and local levels.
Lynne Angland was a passionate visionary dedicated to Oregon’s families. Lynne’s service, passion and leadership improved the lives of Oregon’s children and families, and her untimely death left a void that only her diligent advocacy could have filled. The Early Learning Council continues to honor Lynne’s commitment to strengthening Oregon’s next generation, and the Lynne Angland Award shines a light on those who contribute to improving child care and the positive outcomes for Oregon children.
This year’s recipients include one individual and a group of providers and their quality improvement specialist. The first recipient is Jill Ramirez, Quality Improvement Specialist with the Southern Oregon ESD, and the providers of Promesa Preescolar Red. The second recipient is Tom Udell, Director of the Center on Early Learning at the Research Institute at Western Oregon University (TRI). Both recipients received abundant praise in their nominations and are true leaders in early learning.
Ramirez works for the child care resource and referral agency in Medford, Oregon, and has been providing incredible support to a focus child care network made up of ten Spanish speaking providers. The providers have been friends and colleagues for years and they providers support each other in the difficult but rewarding work of caring for children and providing quality care in Spanish for Latino children in the area. With the support of Ramirez, these providers care for a population of children that are often ignored or unseen in our state. Ramirez shares, “each one of us personally understands the importance of high quality early experiences and each of us is committed to bringing this wonderful opportunity to children and families in our communities.”
The nomination for Ramirez and Promesa Preescolar Red reads: “I know it’s unusual to nominate a group of people, but I am so moved by these providers, their programs, and the huge work Jill does to support them. It shows what’s possible for our state if we step out of the box of the way things have always been done and provide innovative supports in the native language of our providers. If we truly believe that caring, supportive adult-child relationships and interactions are the crux of quality (as opposed to having the fanciest equipment), I would love to see these providers and Jill recognized for showing us what that can look like and charting a course for our state.”
Tom Udell has dedicated his 30-year career to the field of early learning and his work is recognized throughout Oregon and nationally. In a time there were very few men working with young children, he launched his career as a teacher at the Teaching Research Child Development Center and later as director, he and his team became pioneers in the field of early childhood inclusion and were recognized nationally as a model site for this groundbreaking practice. Led by Udell, the center went through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accreditation and became the first nationally accredited child care program in the state of Oregon.
His nomination reads: “Through his strength and leadership, Tom has mentored individuals that are now in prominent positions throughout Oregon’s Early Learning System. He has done so with humility and grace, and continues to work tirelessly to ensure the success of Oregon’s youngest learners.”
The awards were given at the regular meeting of the Early Learning Council in Portland, Oregon on June 23, 2016.
The Early Learning Council will reconvene in September 2016 for their annual retreat.
Location information and materials can be found online at: https://oregonearlylearning.com/public-meetings/