The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies awards outstanding early educators

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Preschool teacher, Sophia Frimpong, cooks with her students at the Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Learning and Research in Blacksburg. Quality educators are knowledgeable, invested, and motivating to the children and families in their classrooms.

Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies, or ABCs, has announced preschool teacher Sophia Frimpong, the winner of the third annual Montgomery County Early Educator Award in Christiansburg this week.

Frimpong teaches preschool at the Virginia Tech Child Development Center for Learning and Research (VT CDCLR) in Blacksburg.

Sponsored for a third year by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, the ABCs Montgomery County Early Educator Award winner for 2019 will be officially recognized and awarded at the MCCC board meeting on Wednesday, August 28 at 3 p.m.

As 2019 Montgomery County Early Educator of the Year, Ms. Frimpong will receive a $500 cash award as well as a $250 professional development scholarship.

With a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, she has been teaching at VTCDCLR for six years. As the runner up for the award, Angela Brown, a teacher of Rainbow Riders in Blacksburg, will receive a check of $100.

“Childcare is a necessity for many parents and it’s often a barrier to work if parents are unable to locate a provider that is competent, trustworthy and affordable. Parents are trusting the childcare providers with one of the most important parts of their lives- their children,” said Nikki Slusher, ABCs board member, Assistant Vice President of National Bank Blacksburg and member of the judging committee. “Early childhood educators do more than provide care – they nurture the development of young minds. These early educators make every moment matter and are investing in our community’s future. It’s an honor to recognize the selfless service, hard work and dedication of every early educator and to let them know they are valued for the difference they make in the lives of others every day.”

Kim Thomason, ABCs Board Member and owner of Three Presidents Consulting LLC and member of the judging committee, added, “Public interest in early childhood education is at an all-time high due to recent successful advocacy efforts. We must continue to promote consistent quality in our early childhood educators and the programs they support. Quality educators are knowledgeable, invested, and motivating to the children and families in their classrooms. Through their intentional interactions in a well-planned environment, teachers like Sophia Frimpong expand educational equity and shrink the achievement gap. They impact the overall growth and development of a child into adulthood. A life well lived starts with a high-quality early childhood education.”

The New River Valley is considered a “childcare desert”. The lack of affordable, high-quality childcare affects the individual children, families and whole regions. The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies works to create opportunities for New River Valley children can access high quality, affordable childcare and education. Training and encouraging early childhood educators is a key to building quality childcare and education.

The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies committee of board members met to review the accomplishments to select these exceptional early educators.

Ms. Frimpong and Ms. Brown demonstrated extraordinary creativity, knowledge of and passion for child development and open engagement and collaboration with children, families and colleagues.

The Alliance for Better Childcare Strategies is a nonprofit based in Christiansburg

under the fiscal agency of the Community Foundation of the New River Valley.

The organization works to create opportunities so that all New River Valley children can access high quality care and education.

For more information about ABCs, visit abcsnrv.org

–Staff reports