PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (May 8, 2017) – Nelson Mandela once famously said, “There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children.” It was a quote fresh on the mind of Tammy Nelson, as she received the Friend of Children Award on April 28.
Tammy Nelson is director of early childhood services for the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and has been with the agency for nearly 28 years.
“I work with people who go into the homes and work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who have some kind of a disability. It’s really a team-effort to facilitate their families, their main care-givers, learning what kind of play-activities and games to do with the child to facilitate learning. Everything we do is an effort to assist children in reaching developmental milestones,” Nelson said.
The Friend of Children Award is given each year during the Fabulous Friday Conference at Shawnee State University. The conference is held annually during Week of the Young Child, this year April 24-28, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Nominations are collected and reviewed by a panel of seven local agencies, and given to an organization, practitioner, or advocate for education.
Nominees are evaluated in six areas (F.R.I.E.N.D.):
· Fosters the well-being of children, birth to eight-years of age,
· Recognizes the importance of giving back to others as well as the community, a team-player who demonstrates collaboration and an ability to listen and learn from others,
· Is a team-player who demonstrates collaboration and an ability to listen and learn from others,
· Exemplifies a commitment to promoting quality early-care and education,
· Noted for their servant leadership (leads by doing), providing program support support-building; and,
· Demonstrates vision, inspiration, direction, and support.
Nelson received eight nominations, making her the clear and obvious pick to receive this year’s award.
“I have a daughter who is now an adult, and she has cerebral palsy, so we’ve lived in the world of disabilities for almost 35 years. I think you have a commitment through your heart because you know what these services can do for your own family and you want to share that with other people,” Nelson said.
After an introduction by SCBDD Superintendent Julie Monroe, Nelson accepted the award with a moving speech that brought the room to tears.
“The speech that she gave really reinforced everything we had learned during the Keynote Address, and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day,” said Amanda Hedrick, director of the Shawnee State University Children’s Learning Center. “She was just so humble and so appreciative of receiving the award. We have a lot of college students who attend this conference who haven’t started out in their careers yet, and she really spoke to them in a way that was very positive and uplifting and very inspiring. I really appreciated the comments she made.”
For information about the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, visit online at www.sciotocountydd.org, of follow on Facebook and Twitter.