Monique Snyder | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Monique Snyder doesn’t want any child left home alone. She reached out to Black Family Development and Soar Scholarships so her essential worker and first responder parents could receive annual scholarships for their children to attend Brainiacs Clubhouse Child Development Center during the pandemic and beyond.

Felicia Legardy | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Felicia Legardy of Crystal Swann Child Care solidifies her spot as a Detroit Early Learning Champion by heeding the call for help from parents and children in her neighborhood during the national pandemic. Legardy opened up her home facility after recovering from her own bout of Covid-19 so children of essential workers wouldn’t be left home alone. She provides the children with a well-rounded early childhood education and has been doing so for over 24 years. She believes in keeping the children safe, loved and educated.

Myron Clark | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Myron Clark is a true superhero disguised as a Kindergarten teacher! He knows how to relate to his students and affect them in extremely positive ways. During this pandemic, Mr. Clark has stayed strong for his own family and the families of his students even when times were getting extremely tough. In the classroom – simultaneously teaching virtual and face-to-face – Mr. Clark creates a fun atmosphere, engaging his students in educational and truly entertaining lesson plans. He also pays attention to the individual characteristics of each of his students so he bring out the light in all of them.

Danielle Albrecht | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

The Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t stopped Danielle Albrecht from continuing to create a sincere connection with her students’ families. She masks up to drop off school supplies to each of her students’ homes and brings her early learners along on virtual field trips in her own neighborhood!

Felecia Slappy | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Felecia Slappy makes virtual learning easier on her students and their families by finding resources for all their virtual learning needs; laptops, crayons, paper, pencils, you name it! She also makes sure families have access to food and health services, even pointing them to Covid-19 testing when needed.

Nina Hodge | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

The name Above & Beyond Child Care Center epitomizes what Nina Hodge does for the families who step through her childcare’s threshold. Nina has been going above and beyond by providing resources for food, jobs and healthcare, and even becoming a mentor to parents. She’s there to help uplift the community around her and make it a safe space for every child. Since the pandemic hit, Nina did a revamp of the center to prevent the spread of viruses. The new flooring along with her strict Covid-19 protocols and, of course, her cheery attitude, help to ease the minds of all the Above & Beyond families.

Lawanda Marshall | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

LaWanda Marshall and her husband contracted and recovered from Covid-19 early in the pandemic. Though the experience was challenging, she used the knowledge gained from her experience to help her students’ families navigate the unique obstacles these difficult times presents, proving her passion for teaching never falters and her dedication to making her students successful is always her top priority.

Jill Bostic | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Jill Bostic fills Jill’s Creative Learning with love every single day. She understands the importance of showing love and understanding to the children attending her childcare and considers them and their families a part of her family. Ms. Bostic realizes it’s beneficial to let children take the lead during their time at daycare, allowing them to explore their surroundings.  She also simulates real world places like the dentist office, getting the kids comfortable with the experience and excited to understand different professions.

Andrea Yesta | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Andrea Yesta exudes energy, even through a computer screen! That energy has allowed Ms. Yesta to redesign her lesson plans to make it feel like her students are really in a classroom at school. The most important things she wants her students to do is find their love of reading and make friends in the virtual classroom. Reading aloud and fun dance parties are just some of the ways she achieves her goal.

ChaVonne McGowan | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

ChaVonne McGowan has been in education for over 20 years in the K-12 sector but she always knew she had a bigger calling, so she decided to open up her own childcare center dedicated to closing the foundational gaps between preschool and elementary. The pandemic shut down the opening of Seeds of Knowledge Creative Learning Center before she was able to get going but it didn’t stop her. Ms. McGowan rallied to create a Covid-safe environment and now, the center is thriving in creating unique opportunities for her students like cooking and science classes that will set them up for future success.

Erica Jean-Charles | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Erica Jean-Charles understands the importance of early childhood education even on a virtual platform. Her friendly personality draws students to the computer screen and she creates games out of her lesson plans to make the school day fun and interactive. Ms. Jean-Charles also strives to personally connect with the parents of her students and encourages them by explaining the importance of them being their child’s first teacher.

Laurie Clark-Horton | Detroit's Early Learning Champion

Laurie Clark-Horton’s LACC Child Care Academy strives to make a change in the lives of the children who enter the doors of the daycare. She understands the work hours of the parents in her community, which is why she keeps the daycare open 24 hours a day. This provides safe, educational, and fun care for children who may not otherwise get the experience. She has been stringent through the Covid-19 pandemic, making sure hands are washed and everyone’s temperature is taken at the door when they enter the building. She also has a nurse on staff and created a quarantine room for anyone who starts showing signs of sickness.

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Tara at Detroit Public Television

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