The leadership of CEASE held its annual retreat in Truro, Massachusetts hosted by our CEASE East members. We welcomed four new members to the leadership team who brought new energy and skills to our group. To introduce the newcomers to the culture of CEASE and to remind us all of our roots, we began our retreat with inspiring stories of our founder Peggy Schirmer and her husband Boone.
Our first discussion session pertained to the collaborative model that CEASE uses in all that we do. We reviewed our collaborative writing process, our networking with other organizations and the workshop format we use at conferences.
We then reassessed our priorities and discussed what actions we wished to take in the coming year to bring about positive change. We developed teams to work on articulating our commitments to peace, social justice, community, play and care, and the environment. We committed to redesigning the Take Action section of our website to make it more appealing to intuitive as well as linear learners. Small groups worked on designing CEASE mini-grants, creating guidelines for facilitating workshop discussion sessions, creating a New Committee Member Handbook, and designing a user-friendly Take Action page on our website.
We also revisited our role as “the conscience of NAEYC” by committing to continue voicing our values of social justice and peace related to NAEYC’s position statements, especially regarding the use of technology in the ECE classroom, the need to acknowledge that war is violence, and the critical role of play in children’s learning and development. We discussed the upcoming NAEYC conference in Washington, D.C. and agreed to not only present our CEASE seminar but to also sponsor the Defending the Early Years and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood presentations. We committed to being a presence at the Capitol by visiting our representatives and demonstrating in behalf of children and families.