2017-09-27 / Front Page

Pheffer Amato Completes National Early Learning Fellowship

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), recently completed a 2017 National Early Learning Fellowship with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She is seen here reading a story to children, joined by Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Eric Ulrich and NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr.

Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), recently completed a 2017 National Early Learning Fellowship with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). She is seen here reading a story to children, joined by Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilman Eric Ulrich and NYS Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Rockaway Beach), recently completed a 2017 National Early Learning Fellowship with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a national non-profit that helps legislators across all 50 states share best policies and practices, and advocates for state legislative issues on the national level. Pheffer Amato was chosen as one of about three dozen legislators considered issue experts or up-and-coming leaders from across the country, in a competitive application process.

“The material we’ve covered is helpful on so many levels,” said Pheffer Amato. “The main takeaway is that the earlier you start investing in our children, the better the outcomes – and that applies to workforce development, social services and even a substantial reduction in incarceration. I got to see what other states are doing, and I’m coming back as one of two NYC-area state legislators with some great best practices for pedagogy and funding, some compelling data, and a lot more.

“There are so many angles to early childhood education, both inputs and outputs,” she continued. “Direct home visitation and parent engagement are things we maybe don’t think [of] when we think about school, but we should. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) has its basis in early-childhood education as well; it’s not just a ‘big kid’ topic. And of course, we discussed tactics as well as concepts: better ways to engage parents from birth to five years, better ways to finance early education, the impact of expulsion or suspension in an early-childhood environment.

“When you give kids the best shot to learn, they take it,” continued Pheffer Amato. “So we need to do everything we can to make sure they get that shot. School really is the best investment we can make in our future. I’m excited to get back to Albany, roll up my sleeves and share best practices from across the country, so our children – and our society as a whole – can benefit. I’m grateful to the NCSL and to all of my ‘fellow’ fellows. If the brilliant legislators I met are able to use these data and best practices to help steer our states’ policy agendas, the future of education looks very bright.”

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