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UNK College of Education Presents Community Service Award to ESU 10 Early Learning Connection Employees – UNK News


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From left, ESU 10 Early Learning Connection Coach Consultant Amy Sjoholm and Coordinator Alexandra Dillon are pictured with UNK College of Education Dean Mark Reid at Monday's board meeting in Kearny.  Sjoholm and Dillon received the College of Education's
From left, ESU 10 Early Learning Connection Coach Consultant Amy Sjoholm and Coordinator Alexandra Dillon are pictured with UNK College of Education Dean Mark Reid at Monday’s board meeting in Kearny. Sjoholm and Dillon received the College of Education’s “Making a Difference” Excellence in Community Service Award. (Photo by Erica Pritchard, UNK Communications)

Kearney – A representative from the University of Nebraska, Kearney College of Education, made a surprise announcement at Monday’s board meeting at Educational Services Unit 10.

They stopped by to recognize coordinator Alexandra Dillon and the Early Learning Connections team for their ‘Making a Difference’ Outstanding Community Service Award. , honors individuals, businesses, or organizations for their contributions to youth and adult education programs and to community affairs.

“Alexandra Dillon and the Central Nebraska Early Learning Connectivity Team serve the diverse needs of early childhood education workers in the area through their continued and proactive engagement. As well as coordinating, we seek to meet the unique needs of the local workforce through partnerships with community organizations and early childhood provider groups.”

“Their commitment to early childhood workforce development and well-being is extremely important to young children and their families in Nebraska,” added Thompson.

The Central Region Early Learning Connection at ESU 10 in Kearney works with partners to plan, coordinate and deliver training and other professional development opportunities to all who provide early childhood programming and services. . This professional development helps communities and states build effective and coordinated systems. This prepares and supports the early childhood care and education workforce while ensuring access to quality programs for young children and their families.

Early Learning Connection consists of a statewide hub at the Early Childhood Training Center in La Vista and seven regional locations, including Kearny, as well as partners in other states and regions. The Central Region Service Area covers 23 counties and 4 education service units. Training helps child care providers meet licensing requirements and improve program quality. This includes topics such as safety, administration, curriculum planning, implementation and assessment, social-emotional development and behavioral instruction strategies, comprehensive child care practices, and services for children with disabilities.

In addition, Dillon assisted in the planning and implementation of the Annual Early Childhood Conferences in Grand Island, Holdlegge and Hastings to share information and support the Annual Early Childhood Conferences on campus, helping the UNK College of Education Early Childhood Committee has become an indispensable partner.

She is involved in state preschool grants, specifically focusing on training needs in diverse communities and providing professional development opportunities in Spanish. Thanks to her efforts, a Spanish-only infant conference was held at Grand Her Island this spring.

Dillon also partners with performing arts such as the Crane River Theater to present shows that address topics such as trauma, the challenges and implications of early childhood education, and racism.