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PennAEYC's VOICE for Children Award 

Celebration Event will be held

Friday, April 7, 2017

at Hershey Lodge

Register here

Keynote Speaker

This year, we are please to have Dr. Junlei Li, Co-Director of the Fred Rogers Center and Rita M. McGinley Professor of Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College, as our keynote speaker. 

Read his bio here.

Congratulations to the 2017 VOICE for Children Award Honorees:

Carol Wong, director and owner of the Chinatown Learning Center

VOICE for Children Award honoree

View biography

Sharon Neilson, director of Woodland Academy Child Development Center a subsidiary of Greater Philadelphia Health Action Inc

VOICE for Children Award honoree

View biography

Dr. James Johnsonprofessor-in-charge of Early Childhood Education at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park Campus, VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award honoree

View biography

Dr. Jane Keatprofessor of Early Childhood Education at The Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg Campus, VOICE for Children Distinguished Career Award honoree

View biography

John Wetzel, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections

VOICE for Children Vision Award honoree

View biography

Event Registration - Register today for the event

This year event tickets will cost: 

  • $85.00 per person  during early bird Registration before March 1, 2017
  • $95.00 per person after March 1, 2017

Sponsorships Are Available

We would like to extend opportunity for AEYC organization to sponsor a table for members and leaders in your community. Your AEYC can secure a table as sponsorship to support PennAEYC. Your table will be identified as ___AEYC - SPONSOR. You may also want to sponsor ticket(s) for member(s) of your AEYC community to attend this inspiring event. Sponsorship can raise awareness in your community for the important work of advocacy.  

​We are offering a special sponsor price for AEYC Affiliates if purchased BEFORE March 1, 2017. 

Tickets-$85            6 ​Seat ​Table​-​$510              8 Seat Table-$680

​To secure your VOICE sponsor table please contact Rose Snyder at

Opportunities are available for general sponsorships through your employer or for other community businesses and organizations. Please contact Rose Snyder at for details. ​

Hotel Information and registration

For those who would like to extend their weekend and enjoy all that Hershey, PA has to offer, we have made available a block of rooms at the beautiful Hershey Lodge and Resort (325 University Drive Hershey PA, 17033). Reservations can be made for $249 per night as part of the PennAEYC special group rate. Special rate expires March 7, 2017. Space is limited so book your room today! Guests who prefer to call to make reservations can call 855-729-3108 and ask for the room block for the PA Assn for Education of Young Children at the Hershey Lodge, April 7-8, 2017 or book online by using this link


PennAEYC would like to thank our sponsor for their generous contribution to our event:

About the VOICE Award 

Do you know an outstanding grassroots advocate whose work has impacted quality early education for all children in Pennsylvania? PennAEYC is asking you to nominate qualified individuals to be recognized for their contributions.  

Click here for information on the VOICE for Children Award 

Click here for the nomination form

PennAEYC will honor an early childhood professional who is raising their voice to make a difference in the lives of young children and families through advocacy at the 7th Annual VOICE for Children dinner and celebration of grassroots advocacy in April 2017. The winner may also be invited to speak at Action Day in Harrisburg!

PennAEYC recognizes the critical role advocacy plays in high quality early learning settings and celebrates those who speak out on behalf of Pennsylvania’s children. As the voice for early care and learning, community advocates are an invaluable component to assuring all Pennsylvania’s children get the start that they deserve in school and in life. 

The VOICE Award is the only statewide award in Pennsylvania recognizing the grassroots leaders whose work impacts the quality of care for young children in diverse settings. Now in its fifth year, the VOICE Award celebrates not only individual award recipients, but the entire early childhood profession. 

Nominees must:

1.   Be a current member of PennAEYC. 

2.  Display dispositions of a model early childhood advocate. Examples of advocacy activities and responsibilities can include (but are not exclusive to) holding leadership positions, serving as an expert witness, providing public testimony, appearing in media, serving on a board in a public policy capacity, receiving distinctive honors or awards for previous advocacy work, leading advocacy campaigns or actions, working with leaders and elected officials to affect change, and/or recognized as an early childhood leader among his or her community.


Nomination Guidelines


1.    Nomination forms will be used to determine the winner of the VOICE award. Specific documentation (such as links to newspaper articles, titles, awards/honors) should be provided if known to substantiate a nominee’s advocacy efforts.  Information that is provided in the nomination will be used to determine your nominee's eligibility for the award. The PennAEYC Awards Committee will review each nomination based on the information provided.  Therefore it is important that the survey is fully completed and all necessary information is included.

2.    There is a 500 word maximum to respond to why you believe your nominee should be selected as a recipient of a 2017 PennAEYC VOICE Award.


3.   Additional letters of support and endorsement for your nominee may be submitted by the deadline. Encourage your colleagues to complete the forum and indicate endorsement. Membership with PennAEYC is not required to endorse a nominee.

Take a look back at past winners