USC child advocate receives honor
By: Frenche Brewer, email@example.com, 803-777-3691
Hailed as a tireless supporter on behalf children’s rights and well-being, Kerrie Welsh, director of the South Carolina Program for Infant-Toddler Care, has received the 2012 Marian Wright Edelman Advocacy Award.
Welsh’s program is a division of the Department of Social Services grant-funded project housed at the Child Development Research Center in the University of South Carolina’s College of Education.
The Marian Wright Edelman Advocacy Award is a state honor given annually to a person who has worked to improve children’s welfare. The award is named for Edelman, a South Carolina native and director of the Children’s Defense Fund. Edelman’s advocacy efforts for children are known worldwide.
“I am honored to receive an award in the name of Marian Wright Edelman who has had such a profound impact on social justice, particularly in the area of early childhood education,” Welsh said.
Welsh, who teaches a USC infant-toddler education course, also manages the statewide program that educates child care providers on how to support infants and toddlers in their early learning and development stages.
“They are shaping the lives of millions of children during the most critical periods in human development. Early experiences last a lifetime, so it’s critical that these experiences be positive and foster healthy development and learning that will provide these young children the foundation they need for later life successes,” Welsh said.
Welsh has been a leader in infant and toddler quality child care initiatives. Her efforts include building partnerships with state-sponsored early care and education organizations across the countrythat resulted in the adoption of South Carolina’s infant-toddler guidelines and the creation of the South Carolina Infant-Toddler Field Guide.
Welsh received the award at the annual South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children conference held in Columbia Oct. 6.