The University of Southern Mississippi chapter of the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) was honored with the Outstanding Chapter designation at the organization’s annual conference held this spring in New Orleans. The Southern Miss chapter was one of only five to receive the honor and was presented to representatives of the chapter by the ACEI’s Emerging Educators Council.
ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation and advance educational opportunities for children around the globe. The 2011 ACEI conference addressed the important issues associated with how schools and classrooms meet the goals of respecting the rights of children and giving the right to education a high priority.
Membership in ACEI provides students with the opportunity to reach outside of Mississippi and the U.S. and be part of a worldwide community of advocates for education, said Alicia Westbrook of Hattiesburg, a Southern Miss graduate student who serves as ACEI chapter vice-president.
“We’re honored to win the outstanding chapter award from ACEI. This honor is gratitude for the hard work that Dr. Rose Jones, Sue Whitcomb (chapter president) and the undergraduate and graduate students from Southern Miss have completed this year,” said Westbrook.
The Southern Miss chapter of ACEI is the only one in Mississippi and was founded in 2004. Chapter advisor Dr. Rose Jones said the award is testament to the hard work of the chapter’s members since its establishment, and their commitment to the ideals of making education a right on a global level. Membership is open to pre-service and in-service teachers.
Among the many activities supported through the Southern Miss ACEI chapter since its inception seven years ago include a week of classroom activities in conjunction with teacher/world teacher day; hosting the ‘What’s Up in Mississippi” education forum for seven years; and receiving a proclamation for "Week of Classroom Teacher" and World Teacher Day in Mississippi from the governor’s office.
Having an association with the organization is also valuable in terms of helping meet National Council for the Advancement of Teacher Education (NCATE) and state standards for teacher training, and also as a resource for keeping up with the latest trends and best practices in education.