by Tom Coakley - USA

We showed the Expect Male Involvement video at Housatonic during the Week of the Young Child sponsored by the ECE Program at the college and the Fairfield County (CT) AEYC. About 50 people showed up, which was a smaller number than events held during that week in the last couple of years, but decent. There were 18 men in attendance which I thought was a huge success – virtually all of them were childcare workers or ECE students. The open discussion after the showing of the video was lively but supportive.

The group met monthly in the spring and is starting up again this month. I am an adjunct faculty and got into this as part of a diversity effort of the Early Childhood Advisory Board – a group of faculty, parents, students, community members which meets a few times a year to support the program and keep it connected to the real world. The group (Men in ECE) is technically under the umbrella of a campus organization: The Early Childhood Club. The other way the group is linked to the college is through the leadership of Yotisse Williams, a teacher at the childcare center which operates on the college campus.

My experiences with this group and other general experiences led me to submit some conference presentation proposals this summer. I did a workshop on gender issues in child care at the Waterbury CT School Readiness conference in August and will be doing something similar at the the Connecticut AEYC conference in October and also the Massachusetts AEYC Family Child Care conference in October. And I’m doing a workshop on gender discrimination in EC employment at the National Association on Multicultural Education conference in Chicago on November. I’ll try to get some phot documentation of some of this for you.

Tom Coakley