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Four central Nebraskans to take part in Early Childhood Workforce Leadership group

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 12:32 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (KSNB) - Four central Nebraskans have been chosen from across the state to take part in the inaugural Nebraska Early Childhood Workforce Leadership Cadre.

The Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the University of Nebraska formed the group of 26 to put these early childhood professionals’ perspectives front and center in conversations about the future of Nebraska’s early childhood workforce.

The four chosen from our area include: Shannon Burks (Grand Island), Carime Ruvalcaba (Grand Island), Amy Vinton (Kearney), and Kristine Van Hoosen (Wood River).

Over the next three years, cadre members will build their collective capacity as thought leaders and early childhood workforce leaders. The cadre will nurture and refine members’ ideas for elevating Nebraska’s early childhood workforce and implement small pilot projects in the communities where they live.

“I am excited to begin meeting with these outstanding educators and begin our work together,” said Cama Charlet, manager of early childhood workforce initiatives at the Institute. “These 26 members bring such diversity to the cadre, coming from every corner of the state and representing different settings and levels of experience.”

Charlet said the cadre drew interest from 270 early childhood professionals.

“Though only a fraction of them could be selected for the cadre, we want to harness that enthusiasm and excitement to make a difference,” she said. “The Institute will be seeking ways to keep applicants involved in the effort to strengthen early care and education in our state.”

Cadre members will meet in person four times a year for one weekend day. The first meeting, set for late February, will be held online.

In addition to in-person meetings, each cadre member will attend one two-hour virtual meeting with a small group in the months between in-person meetings. Cadre members will commit about five hours of additional time each month interacting with their peers and reflecting on the cadre experience in an online discussion platform.

Cadre members will receive a $1,000 stipend annually for full participation during the life of the cadre. Additionally, funding is available to cover the costs associated with attending one or more professional conferences and materials relating to professional learning.

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