September 20, 2012

Dear Families:

In 2007, BAM! Radio was created by early childhood professionals as an online radio program called Body Mind and Child. BAM! is an acronym for ‘body and mind’! BAM! Radio’s mission was to bring parents the latest ideas from the leading experts in the fields of early childhood education, physical education/motor development, play research, child development, and the neurosciences. Its main concept was that the key to success in life for children and youth is through nurturing a healthy mind in a healthy body. By 2008, BAM! Radio expanded its programming to serve the entire education community. Today, BAM! Radio is the largest education radio network in the world, offering programming from the nation's top education organizations and thought leaders.

It was the BAM! Radio network that organized the 2012 National Bammy Awards, which were presented on September 15th in Washington DC. This is the first year of the Bammy Awards and the plan is for this to be an annual tradition with the hope that next year’s ceremony would even be televised! The Bammy is a cross discipline award that rewards people throughout the education field -- from teachers, principals and superintendents, to school nurses, support staff, advocates, researchers, early childhood specialists, as well as education journalists and parents. The Bammy Awards were created in response to the national pressure to improve student outcomes, and to the scrutiny that today's educators face.? ?The Bammys were presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International, which includes education leaders, education professors, journalists, editors, researchers, commentators, advocates, activists, visionaries and pioneers. The Academy is comprised of a Board of Governors, a Council of Peers, and associate members.? The Academy presented two honors in every category -- the Educator's Voice Award and the Bammy Award. The education community determined the winners of the Educator's Voice Award through an online voting process. ?Members of the Board of Governors selected the winners of the Bammy Awards from a short list created by the Council of Peers.

I was honored to be nominated by Susan Ochshorn, the founder of ECE Policy Works, a consulting firm specializing in early care and education policy research, program development, and project management. In the spring, I received the Educator’s Voice Award and on Saturday, was delighted to win the Bammy! Thanks to all who voted in the online voting process last spring, and thanks to the Academy for selecting me for the Bammy Award. The award is quite a remarkable object, weighing seven and a half pounds and designed to signify the various disciplines and domains that make up the education village. Integrated into the center of the Bammy statuette is the symbol of the hand-held school bell that was traditionally used to call students throughout the village. The Bammy bell is meant to remind us that it takes a village to educate a child. The Bammy statuette is made of the same material as an Oscar, and is hand-finished and individually numbered. It is intended to be a symbol of excellence in education and to award educators as we award our actors and performers.

The ceremony was a black tie event, complete with a red carpet and a dazzling atmosphere. There were fifteen awards, in addition to three life time achievement awards given to Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, and John Murrow, all powerful voices in education. It was an honor to be a recipient along with these three education activists. Each awardee was asked to make a witty two sentence speech. I share with you mine and thank everyone for being a part of the Brooklyn New School community, a school which now celebrates twenty-five years of history:

“Before there was the New Normal, there was the Brooklyn New School. Twenty five years with thousands of students, of all colors, ethnicities and talents, each with parents numbering from zero to five, in families formed by every biological and legal and gender configuration, along with their brilliant teachers, all dedicated to the proposition that there’s more to an education than is dreamed of by test designers.”

All for now, Anna