thread News

2019 thread Award Recipients Announced

February 08, 2019

Alaska, Education,

Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award and Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award Recipients Announced

 

Christina Jurenka of Anchorage is the recipient of thread’s 2019 Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award. Chris is the operations manager at Providence Center for Child Development and has been an early educator for more than 35 years. Chris is a leader in the classroom, encouraging children to learn and grow toward their full potential. She has been described as an expert in the field and as someone who embodies the spirit of perseverance. She is also a firm supporter of continued education and encourages professional development opportunities for her staff and others in the early and care learning field.

Chris is the fifth recipient of the annual Cindy Harrington Heart & Mind Award, an award that highlights an individual currently employed in the field of early care and learning who exhibits strength of character, commitment to excellence, professional determination, and has an impassioned spirit. Cindy Harrington was one of the founding mothers of early childhood work in Alaska, as well as a member of thread’s board of directors until her untimely passing in May of 2014. thread recognizes a professional in the field of early care and learning who embodies the same heart and mind leadership style that the late Cindy Harrington portrayed throughout her career.

The recipient of thread’s 2019 Quality Improvement Program of the Year Award is Little Hands Bilingual Montessori Daycare (BMD) in Anchorage. Little Hands BMD is owned by Janet Cerdena Bryant who received this year’s award at a ceremony held during the Anchorage Association for the Education of Young Children (AAEYC) Conference at the Anchorage Hilton today.
 
Through this award, thread is recognizing the center for its commitment to continuous quality improvement. Teaching its children both English and Spanish, Little Hands BMD celebrates diversity of its families and fosters cultural activities throughout the year, encouraging parents to be active participants. Little Hands BMD further demonstrates its dedication to improvement by its voluntary enrollment and active participation in Learn & Grow, Alaska’s Quality Recognition and Improvement System (QRIS).
 
Learn & Grow provides a framework for all early care and learning programs to follow as they participate in continuous quality improvement activities. Learn & Grow includes five levels of quality, two of which are currently available for programs to achieve. Learn & Grow is housed and managed by thread.
 
This past year, Little Hands BMD achieved a Level 2 in Learn & Grow and scored high on the Family Child Care Environment Rating Scale. Staff has eagerly engaged in Learn & Grow’s training requirements and has implemented their acquired knowledge to improve their teaching practice and the learning environment.
 
thread is proud to recognize both Chris and Little Hands BMD this year as thread promotes access to quality early care and learning, and the professionalism of early educators in the state of Alaska. Learning doesn’t start at kindergarten, it begins at birth. That is why educators and programs that provide high-quality early care and learning services play such an important role in the growth and development of young children. Congratulations to Chris and Little Hands BMD!