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September 21, 2016
Tucker Award

Martha Tucker, program coordinator and associate professor of early childhood education at Danville Community College (DCC), was the recipient of Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania's Early Childhood Leadership Award on Saturday, Sept. 17. Tucker, a founding board member of the local Smart Beginnings organization, was recognized for her "leadership and passion for dynamic teachers, healthy and happy children and engaged parents."

Tucker has 32 year of teaching experience with students ages 4-94. She spent 20 years in public education and Head Start classes, and the last 11 years have been at DCC. During her time at DCC she has educated and inspired hundreds of young people who have left her classroom more prepared to lead their own preschool classes. She is passionate about post-secondary education for early childhood educators because she believes the education level of the teacher is one of the highest predictors of program quality. Tucker truly believes "those who know … do!"

Tucker was recognized for her leadership in early childhood education during the fifth annual Early Learning Symposium hosted by Smart Beginnings Danville Pittsylvania. During the symposium, more than 150 childcare providers and preschool teachers attended such workshops as Flip It: Transforming Challenging Behavior; Developmentally Appropriate Practice – Focusing on Executive Function for Infants – 3; Be Active Kids; Speaking Their Language: Communicating with Infants Through Age 3; and Inside Out and All Around with Emotional Regulation.

The theme for this year's symposium was Building Your Bounce and keynote speaker Nefertiti Bruce Poyner, M.Ed., spoke to caretakers about the importance of taking care of themselves, promoting their social/emotional health and how their social/emotional well-being impacts the children in the care both positively and negatively. She gave them specific, simple strategies to not only reduce their stress but promote their social/emotional health.