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Early Pride Matters

Early Pride Matters

BOLSTERING INCLUSIVE, POSITIVE, AND SUPPORTIVE EDUCATORS AND CLASSROOMS

Adam Kennedy, PhD, associate professor of early childhood special education, recently received full funding of a $75,000 grant from the Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood to fund the development of his Early Pride Matters website, which will launch in 2023.

Early Pride Matters, designed for early childhood educators, will provide numerous resources promoting inclusivity and affirmation in the classroom. The website focuses on essentially three areas that we need to do a much better job of understanding and supporting. The first being gender identity development and gender diversity, the second being LGBT-led families, and the third being queer educators in the early childhood field," says Kennedy.

Loyola School of Education professor Adam Kennedy, PhD

Adam Kennedy, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Chair for Undergraduate Teaching and Learning

The Early Pride Matters website will host a wealth of ideas and activities created to bolster positive and supportive educators and classrooms. The website's resources will include inclusive class activities and lessons, children's books, tips to foster inclusive communities, and tips for educators on how to be an ally.

“The goal being to sort of plant a flag in birth-to-five as an area where that work is critical, that it’s not too early to address those needs,” says Kennedy. “In fact, it’s too late when children reach kindergarten because they’re already experiencing erasure and bias and outright bigotry.” 

"This tool equips our students with ideas and practices that will help them be more courageous in their field experiences and in their future careers." Adam Kennedy, PhD

Kennedy views this project as a tool for early childhood educators and Loyola School of Education students. “One of the ways this project can support our teacher candidates here in the undergraduate program is that, first of all, they’ll have access to all of the resources on that site. This tool equips our students with ideas and practices that will help them be more courageous in their field experiences and in their future careers,” says Kennedy. 

Early Pride Matters aims to shed light on diversity within early childhood education with the tools it provides. “We won’t be, as a teacher-ed program, talking about diversity as a hypothetical,” says Kennedy. “We acknowledge and support and address the diversity of the children and families in the very schools where our students spend time.” 

Loyola School of Education student teacher answering student questions
Teaching & Learning

Early Childhood Special Education

In Loyola's early childhood special education program, you'll learn inclusive, specialized teaching practices to support each and every child from birth through second grade. With this program you will be fully licensed in both early childhood education and special education across the span of birth to grade two, and can work in general education, inclusive, or special education programs.

Learn More
Story by Kate Roudebush

Adam Kennedy, PhD, associate professor of early childhood special education, recently received full funding of a $75,000 grant from the Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood to fund the development of his Early Pride Matters website, which will launch in 2023.

Early Pride Matters, designed for early childhood educators, will provide numerous resources promoting inclusivity and affirmation in the classroom. The website focuses on essentially three areas that we need to do a much better job of understanding and supporting. The first being gender identity development and gender diversity, the second being LGBT-led families, and the third being queer educators in the early childhood field," says Kennedy.

The Early Pride Matters website will host a wealth of ideas and activities created to bolster positive and supportive educators and classrooms. The website's resources will include inclusive class activities and lessons, children's books, tips to foster inclusive communities, and tips for educators on how to be an ally.

“The goal being to sort of plant a flag in birth-to-five as an area where that work is critical, that it’s not too early to address those needs,” says Kennedy. “In fact, it’s too late when children reach kindergarten because they’re already experiencing erasure and bias and outright bigotry.” 

Kennedy views this project as a tool for early childhood educators and Loyola School of Education students. “One of the ways this project can support our teacher candidates here in the undergraduate program is that, first of all, they’ll have access to all of the resources on that site. This tool equips our students with ideas and practices that will help them be more courageous in their field experiences and in their future careers,” says Kennedy. 

Early Pride Matters aims to shed light on diversity within early childhood education with the tools it provides. “We won’t be, as a teacher-ed program, talking about diversity as a hypothetical,” says Kennedy. “We acknowledge and support and address the diversity of the children and families in the very schools where our students spend time.” 

Story by Kate Roudebush