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96 Danforth Street
Portland, Maine 04101

News & Events

Help us celebrate:

 Week of the Young Child!

Saturday April 28, 2018 is the Greater-Portland celebration of: Week of the Young Child! To join us, please check out the details below. 

Catherine Morrill will be celebrating in-house with an art show on April 11, 2018. 

Right from the Start Coalition Launch

The first years of a child’s life are crucial in laying a solid foundation for all the social, emotional and cognitive learning yet to come. Given Maine’s current and future demographic challenges, we need each and every baby to grow up to his or her full potential. At the first meeting of the Right from the Start Coalition, we (the Maine Children's Alliance and others) discussed how we intend to make early childhood a priority issue in the 2018 gubernatorial race, presented new polling data on how Mainers feel about early childhood education, and talked about how we can move forward as a strong coalition. We were pleased that John Shoos, Executive Director of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation, and Laurie Lachance, President of Thomas College, were guest presenters at this inaugural event. We thank everyone who was there to support the work of this crucial Coalition!  For more information on how you can participate in this initiative, please contact Rita Furlow, Senior Policy Analyst at the Maine Children’s Alliance, rfurlow@mekids.org.

READ ALOUD 15 MINUTES. EVERY CHILD. EVERY PARENT. EVERY DAY.

March is Reading Awareness Month. There's a campaign that's letting parents know how big a difference 15 minutes a day of reading can make for a child, even beginning at birth. You can find resources at ReadAloud.org.

Anti-Bias Education

Catherine Morrill embraces the concepts of Anti-Bias Education. Below is an excerpt from Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards.

“Young children need caring adults to help them construct a positive sense of self and a respectful understanding of others. They need adults to help them begin to navigate and resist the harmful impact of prejudice and discrimination. A person’s early childhood years lay the foundation for a developmental and experiential journey that continues into adulthood. With appropriate adult guidance, the foundation will be a strong one, providing the base for the next stages of healthy development and the skills a person needs to thrive and succeed in a complex, diverse world.

 

Anti-bias education is an integral part of the “bricks and mortar” of emotional well-being and social competence, as well as an emotional foundation upon which children fully develop their cognitive capacities. A healthy sense of self requires that children know and like who they are without feeling superior to others. Understanding and liking one’s own personal and social identifies open up the possibilities of building caring connections with others. Thinking critically about stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination takes away barriers to comfortable and respectful interactions with a wide range of people and gives children a tool to resist negative messages about their identities. Strong cognitive development is also enhanced when children develop curiosity, openness to multiple perspectives, and critical-thinking skills.”