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The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018

The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018

The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018

Mar 13, 2018

The 37th Annual BJE Bebe Feuerstein Simon Early Childhood Institute convened at Adat Ari El on Monday, March 12th, 2018. Upwards of 300 early childhood educators from across Los Angeles gathered for a day of professional development, and the presentation of the Lainer Distinguished Educator and Smotrich Family Foundation Awards.

The day's events began with the presentation of the Smotrich Family Foundation and the Lainer Distinguished Educator Awards by BJE's own Betty Winn, Director, Center for Excellence in Early Childhood & Day School Education.

The prestigious Smotrich Family Foundation Award of Merit, which is presented annually to a distinguished early childhood educator early in his or her career, was accepted by Dassi Bass, of Pressman Academy.

"I feel honored, lucky, and blessed," Bass said. "To have the opportunity to even be nominated. I just feel so lucky to work in a place that helps and supports me and helps me grow in my Jewish educational journey." 

The coveted Lainer Distinguished Educator Awards, were presented to to three long-serving early childhood educators, Robyn Hill of B'nai Simcha (29 years,) Dvorah Litenatsky of Toras Emes Academy (28 years,) and Robyn Solovei, of Temple Beth Hillel (5 years.)

"I truly feel there are many people around me who are equally deserving," Litenatsky said. "What makes me so deserving? I don't know, but I feel that this is a recognition for all of us. How we set the tone for these children is the way they're going to feel about school for the rest of their lives."

The focus of the day's professional development was "Seeing the Whole Child", with a keynote by Dr. Pat Levitt-Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics, Institute for the Developing Mind, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and WM Keck Provost Professor of Neurogenetics, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and Director of the USC Neuroscience Graduate Program.         

After the awards presentations and keynote, those in attendance participated in a wide-array of cutting-edge professional development workshops on topics ranging from "Children and Media: How it Affects Children's Brains", to "Crawl, Run and Jump: How the Body Teaches the Brain to Think."

To see more pictures from the day's events, click here.
 

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