Georgia Educator Named 2021 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion
Today, PBS KIDS named Georgia teacher Alison McClain as one the 2021 honorees of the PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program. The awards, established in 2018, recognize and celebrate passionate educators who work with the nation’s youngest students, from infants to second graders. Through the Early Learning Champions program, PBS KIDS and local PBS stations surround educators with professional learning and networking opportunities.
McClain is a teacher at Harper-Archer Elementary School in Atlanta. She is one of 11 teachers in the nation selected in this year's PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program. She prepares her lessons with inclusivity in mind to ensure all her students feel loved and seen. "I create fun songs and develop innovative teaching tools for differentiation that encourage all learners to achieve their own learning goals," said McClain. "PBS KIDS content is critical in my classroom to inspire and engage my scholars to learn with digital games, videos, and other resources."
“The past 18 months have shed a necessary light on just how critical these educators are to our nation’s children, especially in the area of social and emotional learning, which is core to our mission,” said Lori Brittain, Senior Director, Education, PBS. “We are thrilled to continue elevating awareness of their vital work and celebrate and support these everyday heroes through the PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program.”
The PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions program, which has recognized 38 passionate educators of young children since its inception, including the 2021 honorees, includes various early learning educators, including Pre-K, Head Start and early elementary teachers; center care providers and directors; museum and community educators; and home care providers and owners. The program represents the diverse teaching community impacting young learners today. As they continue to move through the uncharted territory of pandemic-impacted learning, including the proliferation of hybrid teaching environments, PBS KIDS and local PBS stations will support skill-building within the classroom, in-person and at-home, while encouraging these professionals to seek out their own personal and professional trajectories.
The Early Learning Champions will also connect with educator networks across the nation, and further their commitments to their community’s families, education officials, and administrators through the utilization of PBS KIDS and local PBS stations tools and resources.
This year’s honorees were chosen for their passion and devotion to early education, strengthening the ecosystem in which children learn and innovating the teaching experience as we know it. Through the Early Learning Champions program, PBS KIDS aims to create a unique environment that includes professional learning and networking opportunities for educators, while fostering relationships between them and their local PBS stations.
The 2021 PBS KIDS Early Learning Champions and their local PBS stations include:
- Celena Ambrose, Holbrook Headstart, Holbrook, AZ (Arizona PBS)
- Jamisa Nuness-Hogan, Kids World, Conway, AR (Arkansas PBS)
- Leah Moore, Play Big Therapy, Tallahassee, FL (WFSU)
- Alison McClain, Harper-Archer Elementary School, Atlanta, GA (Georgia PBS)
- Sarah Snider, Montana Science Center, Bozeman, MT (Montana PBS)
- Arbely Mejia, Daniel B. Brunton School, Springfield, MA (NEPM)
- Jennelle Lewis, Partnership for Children of Lenoir & Greene Counties, Kinston, NC (PBS North Carolina)
- CJ Meehan, Davies Career & Tech (a division of the YMCA of Pawtucket), Pawtucket, RI (Rhode Island PBS)
- Charisse Sims, Hidden Gems Preschool, Los Angeles, CA (PBS SoCal)
- Amy Reed-Ferguson, Pope Elementary, Puyallup, WA (KBTC)
- Tiffany Harkleroad, Butler Area Public Library, Butler, PA (WQED)
Click here to learn more about Alison McClain and the Early Learning Championship program.