I've already met people from Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Minnesota and my own state of Alabama, all committed to quality early childhood learning. I also met a few resources I want to share with you.
Kar-Ben Publishing is an independent publishing house that is dedicated to books about Jewish themes. If you serve children who are of the Jewish faith or lineage, or if you just want to share a bit of that culture in your programs, you might want to visit their website. They are in Minneapolis, MN and are a division of Lerner Publishing Group.
I was able to see Ella Jenkins in person and hear a bit of singing. If you don't know Ella, she has a lot to share through music about life and culture and understanding.
My friend, Rae Pica (whom I know through BAM! Radio), is also attending NAEYC's conference. She's conducting a workshop entitled, "In Defense of Active Learning" at 8:30AM tomorrow morning and I'm going to drop by. She also has a great book out a couple of years ago called "Jump into Literacy"
I also ran into another friend, Mitch Bonder, in the exhibit booth for Childcraft/School Speciality at NAEYC. They have tons of new big books including one from my friend, Karma Wilson (Bear Snores On). While I was there, Mitch showed me a book his son has written about sports and friendship, and he's looking for a publisher for it if you know of anyone. It's exciting when kids become enthused enough with writing that they will produce their own material and I wish him the best.
I'm anxiously awaiting tomorrow when I'll have a chance to attend Rae's session, my own and hopefully a few additional ones. Wish you could all be here!