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Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development

College of Education



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Young Children July 2019

Sonia Yoshizawa and colleagues pen article for NAEYC to help educators identify quality STEM programs. The article can be seen at NAEYC Young Children for this month (July 2019)





Jessica McWilliams


Jessica McWilliams attends PLI

Jessica McWilliams, TECTA Specialist at Center of Excellence in Early Learning & Development, attended the 2019 NAEYC Professional Learning Institute in Long Beach, CA. The institute provided opportunities for networking among colleagues in addition to gaining new insights and inspirations on impacting the professional field of early childhood through dynamic and engaging sessions. One session in particular, focused on mindfulness as it relates to play in connection with social/emotional learning; strengthening the importance of how play indeed, helps children to learn, problem-solve and become independent thinkers. The conference was attended by early childhood professionals, including educators working in current classrooms, trainers/coaches, and professionals of higher education from around the world.



Sonia and Gabriel at Bank Street

Sonia Yoshizawa Presents at
Bank Street

Sonia A. Yoshizawa, Coordinator of Research and Services at Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development, presented “STEM or Music? Creating a SOUND Environment for Infants and Toddlers” at the Bank Street Graduate School of Education Infancy Institute (NY). The conference highlighted cutting-edge developments in research, relationship-based practice, family-centered care, and was attended by infant/toddler specialists from around the world.

  (Pictured with former Scholar-In-residence
Gabriel Guyton)



Jessica McWilliams portrait

TECTA Welcomes New Team Member 


TECTA @ ETSU would like to welcome our new Specialist, Jessica McWilliams. Jessica comes to our office with over 8 years of early childhood classroom experience. Jessica values the high impact of early childhood education and is a strong advocate for educating teachers as life-long learners. Jessica holds a Master’s degree from ETSU as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Fine Arts, with an emphasis on Theatre.




Sonia Yoshizawa portrait


Sonia Yoshizawa Presents at NAEYC

Sonia Yoshizawa, Coordinator of Research and Services at the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development, presented two sessions at the National Association for the Education of Young Children in Washington, DC. Her presentations focused on her latest NAEYC book with Dr. Rebecca Isbell, Nurturing Creativity: An Essential Mindset for Young Children’s Learning, and on the soon-to-be published article about high-quality tool for STEM resources. Sonia also co-facilitated at the NAEYC Early Childhood Science Interest Forum session.



Hale and Huber Awarded CCAMPIS Grant

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning and Development faculty Dr. Kimberly Hale (PI) and Beth Huber (Project Director) have been awarded the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant in the amount of $786,592 by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education.

This award is one of four Tennessee higher education institutions selected to receive CCAMPIS grant funds. These funds will provide tuition assistance for undergraduate students in need of child care at Little Buccaneers Early Childhood Laboratory program. The grant also funds two full time (10-month) bachelor degree level teachers for the Little Bucs Childcare program in order to address students’ need for child care. Counseling and Human Services graduate student Alicia Taylor has been assigned to this project to begin organizing events to support ETSU students who are parents including brown bag lunches and resource fairs.




Sonia Yoshzawa portrait

Sonia Yoshizawa is going to Association for Constructivist Teaching (ACT) as a Board Member. She has been attending ACT since 2004, but this is her second year as an Advisory Board Member, and representing ETSU and the Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development. The conference will be held October 26 & 27, 2018 at the Marriott Hotel in Columbia, South Carolina. The theme of this year's conference is: "Education as Activism: The Rights of the Learner."

More info on ACT



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Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance at ETSU 

Infant Toddler Support Group

Hosted by: Amber Freeman, Infant Toddler Quality Coach
When: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Time: 4-5:30pm
Where: Life Bridge Church, 617 Donelson Drive, Kingsport
Invited: Infant and Toddler Teachers and Directors

Please call or text to reserve your spot: 423.526.8763

Come hear what is new in the infant toddler world. Come share your classroom experiences. Come ready to share and explore. Each month will focus on a new topic. Your participation and expertise are appreciated. Let’s work together for Tennessee’s youngest! *light snack will be served and credit hours will be given



TECTA Meeting
Sonia Yoshizawa, Heather Logan, Sara Mietzner, Patty Bowlin, Rebecca Armstrong

Representatives of the Tennessee Child Care Resource and Referral Network (TNCCR&R) and Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency meet with Sara Mietzner and Heather Logan from TECTA@ETSU to discuss the Department of Human Services (DHS) push for more high quality Infant Toddler care in the region. TECTA classes provide an avenue for professional development for child care professionals. The meeting took place at Walters State Community College's new building in Greeneville TN. Among the various topics addressed were updates to TECTA orientation training and CDA workshops. For more information on TECTA and the classes offered see



Perry presentation photo

Gabriel Guyton, Chris Tucker, Dr. Bruce Perry, Laura Martin

The Center's Scholar-in-Residence, Gabriel Guyton, attended Dr. Bruce Perry's presentation at the Harmony Family Center in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Perry delivered the keynote address at the two-day event “Regulate, Relate, Reason: A developmental approach to healing trauma”. His topic focused on Neurosequential Models.

sonia and anne photo

Sonia Yoshizawa (right) seen here at last summer's Early Childhood Conference with featured presenter Anne Sibley O'Brien. Sonia will be traveling to Washington, DC in November to present at NAEYC.


  • Isbell, R., & Yoshizawa, S. A. (2018, November). What does the world need now? Creative young children who can communicate, collaborate, and problem-solve. Accepted session at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference, Washington, DC.

  • Peterson, S., Ashbrook, P., Hoisington, C., VanMeeteren, B., Yoshizawa, S. A., Chilton, S., & Robinson, J. (2018, November). To pin or not to pin: Choosing, using, and sharing science resources online, Accepted session at the National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference, Washington, DC.




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Click HERE to increase your Autism Awareness.


 WOVEN logo

The ETSU Center of Excellence in Early Childhood Learning and Development is currently contracted to be
the external evaluator for Family Free’s WOVEN program. WOVEN is designed to work with women whose infants have been diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or are at-risk for NAS. Families Free is a local non-profit, faith-based organization “whose passion is to restore communities through the transformation of families who are vulnerable.” Families Free has received funding from Tennessee Department of Health to serve mothers of (NAS) infants through the WOVEN program. Parenting and case management support are provided to help mothers reach their goals for recovery and a better life. Learn more about Families Free and the Woven program HERE

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