It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Polly Greenberg (1932–2013), former editor of NAEYC’s journal Young Children and author and editor of NAEYC books about early childhood education, children’s character, and social justice.
Throughout her 15 years as an NAEYC editor, Polly contributed to the cause of progressive social change through promoting educators’ understanding of the role of early childhood education, family, and community—in the home, in early childhood settings, and in the early primary grades.
Polly described her special interest as “the art, mechanics, and interdisciplinary science of achieving through childrearing and education – social change toward a truer democracy- one in which more people might experience fairly comfortable and somewhat fulfilling lives.”
We share with you Polly’s editor’s notes from “Let's Learn From an Inspiring Person! A Conversation With Vera B. Williams, Award Winning Author and Illustrator” published in the November 2000 issue of Young Children:
In this era of "drown them in books" many of you have often heard me voice my opinion that it isn't just books in which children must be immersed if early literacy and love of writing and reading are to result; it's good books with good art.
One way to find the best books is to buy (and get from your library) award-winning books. You'll find that some authors win one award after another - for one book after another. These are the outstanding authors and artists whose work you may want to watch for.
Vera B. Williams is among them, right up amongst the stars of contemporary literature for young children. Quite likely you've run into a few of her beautiful, brilliantly colorful books - perhaps her first book, A Chair for My Mother. Almost always Vera both tells and illustrates her wonderful tales, tales full of everyday people of various sages and ethnicities, doing everyday things that are very meaningful to them, and with lots of affection, extended family, and a lovely childlike zest for life.
- Polly Greenberg
NAEYC will honor Polly’s memory in a column, In Memoriam, in the March 2014 issue of Young Children.