A North Island College student has been selected to receive B.C.’s top award for an early childhood education student.
Katherine Cunningham recently received the Sue Fraser Student Award from the Early Childhood Educators of BC at the association’s annual conference in Vancouver.
The Sue Fraser Student Award is presented to an early childhood education student who brings a fresh perspective, energy, and passion to the field. Cunningham was nominated for the award by NIC Early Childhood Care & Education instructors Laurie Tulloch and Cathy Batho.
“It’s been inspiring to watch Kat as she has developed her skills and knowledge,” said Tulloch. “We were thrilled she was chosen to receive this award.”
Along with her work in class and practicum, Cunningham serves as the student representative on the Comox Valley ECEBC Branch Executive. She also volunteered at a local mini-conference on Trauma Informed Care held last November and will represent her class at the Dean’s ECE Advisory Committee Meeting this spring.
“Kat is dedicated to delivering quality child care, with a loving and respectful commitment to children,” said Tulloch. “Her leadership and professionalism are assets to the classroom environment, her practicum placements and the community at large.”
Cunningham was presented with the award by its namesake, Sue Fraser — a pioneer in the field of early childhood education in Canada. Fraser’s work and research into the Reggio Emilia approach were integral to the development of current early childhood education practices, focusing on listening to and collaborating with children in their learning.
Cunningham said it was an honour to receive the award from someone who had such an impact in her field.
“Her work is an inspiration to me as I begin my own career in this field as an example of how we should always keep learning and be open to new ideas on how to support children through their growth and development,” she said.
Cunningham is working to open her own child care centre in her home community of Union Bay and is looking forward to continued work with ECEBC.
“It is crucial that Early Childhood Educators collaborate so children receive the best possible care and education,” she said. “It is a privilege to be a part of ECEBC, which provides educators with so many opportunities for professional development, training and valuable resources.”
—Submitted by North Island College