Marilyn M. Smith Applied Research Fund
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NAEYC created this fund to honor the memory of Marilyn M. Smith, who served as the association’s executive director from 1972 to 1999, with initial funding from a generous gift through Marilyn’s estate. Gifts to this fund are a perfect way to honor Marilyn’s memory. Your support will help NAEYC accelerate its role as a catalyst and consensus builder for complex and controversial issues to generate new knowledge and understanding.
Listen as many reflect upon and celebrate the life and legacy of Marilyn Smith in this tribute video.
The Marilyn M. Smith Applied Research Fund will further NAEYC’s efforts to:
- Develop and revise core position statements with an immediate emphasis on updating the Code of Ethical Conduct and the Early Learning Program Accreditation Standards to align with Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education;
- Create practitioner resources based on the considerations throughout our position statements;
- And, collect, analyze and disseminate NAEYC’s early learning program accreditation quality data to further define and scale quality in programs across the United States.
Marilyn knew and studied under many of the movement’s early leaders. She was deeply involved in launching Head Start, and her decades of leadership positioned NAEYC as the leading professional association for early childhood educators. In the commemorative publication, NAEYC at 75, Marilyn shared: “NAEYC leaders and members have been diligent and committed in creating a shared vision that reflects the association’s core principles, values, and beliefs. This is a heritage of which NAEYC should be very proud and an important tradition to carry into the future.”
Marilyn believed in the power of bringing together diverse perspectives to set standards and equip early childhood educators with the tools and resources to implement these standards in their practice. NAEYC’s role in advancing the knowledge base and pedagogy in early childhood education practice, policy and research continues today. The cornerstone of NAEYC’s commitment is the creation and revision of our core position statements, including: Code of Ethical Conduct; Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators; Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education; Developmentally Appropriate Practice; and Early Learning Program Accreditation Standards. Many of these efforts began under Marilyn’s leadership.
Your efforts will not only support an ongoing memorial for Marilyn’s work, but also further NAEYC’s mission to ensure high-quality early childhood education for all young children.