Business, Community Leaders honored for support of Early Childhood Education

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Left to right: Raymond Chavarria, United Cambodian Community; Donya Webb, YMCA of Greater Long Beach; Mike Murray, Verizon; Luanne Mauro-Atkinson, LBUSD Head Start and Chair of the ECE Committee; Tracy Colunga, City of Long Beach and staff to the ECE Committee.

Left to right: Raymond Chavarria, United Cambodian Community; Donya Webb, YMCA of Greater Long Beach; Mike Murray, Verizon; Luanne Mauro-Atkinson, LBUSD Head Start and Chair of the ECE Committee; Tracy Colunga, City of Long Beach and staff to the ECE Committee.

More than 60 early childhood education providers, teachers, administrators and advocates gathered last week at St. Mary Medical Center’s Parr Center to honor businesses, foundations and community leaders who have made investments in quality early childhood education.

Each of the honorees has significantly supported early childhood education throughout the city of Long Beach, including city-wide Kindergarten Festivals, annual Symposia on topical early education issues, advocacy and policy work on behalf of young children, professional development and higher education for early childhood teachers, and creation of a Business Advisory Council. Each has also supported various individual child development centers and preschools throughout Long Beach as well.

Honorees at the breakfast event, which was hosted by the Long Beach Early Childhood Education (ECE) Committee and St. Mary Medical Center, included:

  • Verizon
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Miller Children’s Hospital
  • California Community Foundation/Los Angeles Preschool Advocacy Initiative
  • Earl B. and Loraine H. Miller Foundation
  • Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center
  • Don Knabe, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, 4th District, County of Los Angeles

“It is important to recognize those who continue to support and contribute to what we believe in, and that all children in Long Beach will be healthy, safe and educated,” said Raymond Chavarria, United Cambodian Committee and member of the Long Beach Early Childhood Education Committee.

The Long Beach Early Childhood Education Committee is an ad hoc committee of the Board of Health and Human Services. Committee members represent a broad base of early childhood educators, advocates and caregivers of young children. All committee members are volunteers, and the committee receives no funding for operational support but must raise funds for each of its projects. The executive board is comprised of leaders in the early childhood education community. The ECE Committee was recognized by Soroptimist International of Long Beach as its 2007 Organization Best Advancing the Status of Women at its annual Women Who Make a Difference awards.

For more information about Early Childhood Education in Long Beach, visit the city’s website: http://www.longbeach.gov/health/fss/childcare/default.asp

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