Introducing the New
SCC-CAAEYC President!

We are delighted to introduce
the new SCC-CAAEYC President, Gloria Davis.

A Letter from the SCC-CAAEYC President:

Hello to all of our Southern California Chapter of the California Association for the Education of Young (SCC-CAAEYC), members, colleague, and friends,

It is time to take some bold steps into 2021. We welcome you to join us as the SCC-CAAEYC board continues the work moving forward with these bold steps!

As we grow past the pandemic challenges, it is important to realize the enormous opportunity the upcoming year offers to each of us.  With such an unprecedented year behind us, SCC-CAAEYC continues to invite your voice to the table, to share ideas, and join the leadership of this forward-looking early education community. Together, we have the power to create a positive and collective change in the lives of the children and families in our communities. 

Even amidst the most difficult challenges, SCC-CAAEYC continues to be guided by the light of our mission, “dedicated to nurturing the growth and development of early childhood leaders in Southern California and advocating for the highest quality of early education for all young children.” 

While our nation is coming to grips with the effects and personal losses as a result of COVID-19, the pain of social unrest, and the awakening of the country to historic systemic racism, the world is in desperate need of innovative servant-leaders. SCC-CAAEYC, like so many other groups, is gifted with such leaders who, for instance, helped pivot SCC-CAAEYC from in-person workshops to providing low and no-cost virtual workshops and training sessions for our members and partners during these times.

SCC-CAAEYC heard all about how health and safety measures necessitated school closures and how families learned to transform their homes into classrooms. SCC-CAAEYC led the charge to provide for those who needed low/no-cost workshops to help navigate the murky waters of technology, curriculum activities, and COVID-19 safety.

Moving from President-Elect to the next level of leadership with SCC-CAAEYC, I am honored to have the enthusiastic support and guidance of the immediate past president, officers, committees, and satellite communities. With the continuing support of our members and friends, we will make the next year transformative. We will continue to build upon this organization’s greatest strengths--the ability to maintain relationships and build new connections while keeping the flexibility necessary to respond swiftly to the needs of the early childhood education community. 
Every new moment offers amazing opportunities to impact lives with a focus on learning, collaboration, and capacity-building.  I am excited to serve and lead SCC-CAAEYC. As president, I pledge to support and strengthen the pipeline of diverse leaders and to build our organizational power to influence systems and policy changes that reflect the priorities of our members.

Every leader we nurture within SCC-CAAEYC will plant the seeds of leadership in the next generation. The children we serve today are the scientists who will find the cures of tomorrow, the organizers who will lead the marches of tomorrow, and the police officers who will protect and serve tomorrow with a heart of advancing equity for all.

As we start this new chapter together, building on the momentum of those who came before us, may we all continue to lead our children and community with compassion and insight. I am filled with hope and gratitude as I think of every one of you. Feel free to contact us for more information on how you can enhance your professional growth by involvement in SCC-CAAEYC.

Leading with influence and impact,

Gloria J. Davis, M.A., President
Southern California Chapter
California Association for the Education of Young Children (SCC-CAAEYC)

Be inspired by Real People, Real Time, and Real Conversations

Collecting and Promoting Stories from the Field

"Through others we become ourselves" - Lev S. Vygotsky

Thank you to Beverly Charsha for sharing this story to help us see the "new normal" in her school. We appreciate sharing these stories from the field that uplift, offer ideas, and inspire new perspectives.

When the pandemic hit back in March 2020 my preschool had 120 students, 16 teachers, myself and a lot of worried, confused and afraid parents. On March 13th (Friday the 13th) I was among many preschool directors around Los Angeles listening carefully to the afternoon health department teleconference. We heard things that made us all feel even more uncertain for the safety of the children and ourselves. The next day my preschool board (consisting of an LAUSD principle and many others), decided to temporarily close the preschool until we could figure out the situation. On the following Monday, a group of our preschool teachers started teaching online. They made circle-time schedules, gave craft instructions, had zoom dance parties and did a tremendous job in spite of the looming fear. 
After the April 6th licensing pin came out with social distancing instructions, the board decided to re-open April 20th for children of essential workers. We surveyed parents and put together two classrooms with 10 students each. I surveyed teachers and asked who wanted to come back. I had the 4 teachers I needed for 20 children and we planned on getting together April 17th to read the specific rules for childcare together and set up the rooms.
When April 17th arrived, we all met at the preschool. We were all so afraid of the virus, we left our purses in our cars. I had smocks, masks and gloves ready for the teachers and we got to work. The teachers taped off tables in 4's to spread out children, we made socially distanced circle-time areas using chairs and we put away a lot of the toys. We printed out and laminated all the Center for Disease Control (CDC) signs and made a health check-in cart at the entryway of the school; complete with hand sanitizer, symptom check signs, wipes and sign-in clip boards. 
The first month we came back was full of joy, tears, pride in our work and a sense of comoradery that I've never felt before. The teachers made individual activity boxes for the children and they bleached everything after every use: toys, tables, toilets, everything. We couldn't afford the cleaning company, so we all mopped, vacuumed and scrubbed toilets, too. It was hard work, but it was the best, at the same time. Having such small groups reminded us all of our child development classes and we were able to do the loveliest small group activities.
Slowly, we had enough children to open another classroom in May and thankfully we received a PPP loan that saved us financially. In summer, we were able to open two more classrooms. Finally in September we were allowed 12 students per classroom and had all 6 classrooms open. Were were able to have 12 teachers back from the original 16.

We are all still cleaning, (although we have our evening cleaning company back which helps a lot) wearing masks, bleaching toys, bleaching toilets and sinks after every use. We have received a City of Los Angeles Childcare grant and another grant from Connections for Children for supplies. Connections has also had supply pick-up days. The parents have been amazing, bringing individually wrapped lunches and snacks, individual craft supplies and they take the children's things home every day for cleaning. The parents have also kept our spirits up bringing us breakfast and lunch once and a while. Without all this support, we never would have made it through with our senses of humor still in-tact.
So far, we have not had one case of Covid-19. We have back-up plans in place due to the latest surge in COVID cases. We are hoping everyone is extra careful, keeping in mind what they choose for their families could potentially expose our other children and teachers. We are extra thankful for how seriously everyone has been taking care as a whole. We are thankful for each other and will never forget this experience that reminded us why we are committed to this work.
Beverly Mullally Charsha, M.A.
COOS Preschool Director

SCC would like to feature your stories from the field. What is working for you? What are your struggles? How have you overcome the challenges of each day and of COVID-19? What are your successes and celebrations? Do take a moment to send a paragraph or two to

In sharing your story you will provide support for other members of the early childhood community. We want to listen, to share, and to scaffold each other.

By sharing your story you are granting SCC-CAAEYC permission to feature it on all our communication platforms. We appreciate your taking the time to inspire your colleagues.