UTSA hosts International Early Childhood Education Forum Oct. 23

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By Christi Fish
Associate Director of Media Relations

(Oct. 22, 2012) -- The Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute (CAPRI), Mexico Center, and the Confucius Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), along with the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, will host the International Early Childhood Education Forum from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23 in the Durango Building Southwest Room (1.124) on the UTSA Downtown Campus. The event is free and open to the public.

"Early childhood education is critical to promote later academic success. Investing in our children is key for the future of the next generation and the well being of the community," said Harriett Romo, UTSA professor of s ociology and CAPRI director. "The International Early Childhood Education Forum will bring together early-childhood education scholars, leaders and members of the community to explore best practices around the world in childhood education."

Romo will open the forum by introducing San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, who will discuss the Pre-K for SA Initiative that will be on the ballot in November. If passed, the initiative would offer full-day pre-kindergarten to eligible four-year-olds in San Antonio. A question-and-answer session will follow the Pre-K 4 SA presentation.

At 10 a.m., UTSA will welcome a panel of early childhood education experts from China, Mexico and the United States to discuss best practices in their respective countries in early childhood education. The panel will be moderated by Sonia Rodriguez, chair of the mayor's Commission on the Status of Women.

Panelists will include:

  • Kathy Shi, director of Beanstalk International Bilingual School in Beijing, China;
  • Huai Cheng, founder of the Beijing Fortune Fountain Children Development Group in Beijing, China, and vice chairman of the Pre-school Education Committee of the Chinese Association for Non-Governmental Education;
  • Teresa Garza Buentello, director of the Center of Research on Education and Poverty at the University of Monterrey (UDEM) in Monterrey, Mexico
  • Ellen Marshall, chair of the Department of Early Childhood Studies at San Antonio College.

UTSA early childhood specialists Iliana Alanis and Misty Sailors will discuss "Early Childhood in Today's Climate: Opportunities and Responsibilities" and will be available to answer questions about early childhood education.

CAPRI is a research center that supports the interdisciplinary study of topics such as infant cognition, early language development, childhood literacy, juvenile justice, child abuse prevention, pediatric obesity prevention, school readiness and success, and foster care youth, ultimately translating research results into policy recommendations. It was founded through a million-dollar endowment from the Bank of America.

The UTSA Confucius Institute, established in 2010, promotes cultural and academic exchanges with China. The speakers from China for the forum, Kathy Shi and Huai Cheng, were selected and invited with the assistance of Beijing's Women Federation.

Reservations are not required to attend the International Early Childhood Education Forum, however seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first served basis. Free parking will be available in lot D-3 under Interstate 35.

To learn more, contact CAPRI at 210-458-2849.