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Opening Minds USA to Announce Innovation Award Recipient

CHICAGO, Jan. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Opening Minds USA, the premier resource for early childhood professionals and organizations who educate and care for young children, will announce the winner of its Innovation Award at the Opening Minds USA Conference & Expo on Friday January 31, 2014, 7pm, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place Hotel. Follett Early Learning is the sponsor of this year's award ceremony.

The Opening Minds Innovation Award, a signature Opening Minds USA event, honors individuals and organizations throughout the nation whose innovations advance the field of early childhood care and education. This year we also have a finalist from the U.K.

A panel of early education experts and entrepreneurs including Azin Mehrnoosh, founder and chairman of CauseLabs and Nick Inzucchi, Interaction Designer at IDEO, selected the final top 10 nominees on December 20th. 

  • Avance, Inc, a parent-child education program that teaches participants the importance of their role in their child's development.
  • Every Child Ready to Read, 2ndEdition, American Library Association, a mechanism geared towards helping to build relationships with parents to support early literacy in young children.
  • Kaymbu, an iPad-based documentation and communication platform to capture the essence of student development and strengthen relationships between home and school.
  • Little, refocuses the role of the children's librarian as the media mentor in communities across the continent.
  • Namaste Charter School & Founder Allison Slade, a groundbreaking education model that combines health and wellness with academic rigor in a peaceful environment.
  • PRIMO (U.K.), a playful physical programming interface that teaches children the basics of programming logic without the need for literacy.
  • The Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children, a medical-legal partnership model that coordinates care across complex intersections of early intervention, developmental therapies, health care, educational mandates and public benefits for young children with disabilities and special health needs.
  • The Early Math Collaborative, Erikson Institute, and its Principle Investigator, Jie-Qi Chen, narrows the achievement gap and improves the practice of early mathematics education for inner city children during the critical first years of schooling.
  • University of Wisconsin-River Falls Nature Playground and Molly Gerrish, a multidisciplinary redesign process of a playground to reconnect children and teachers to nature and promote the development of sustainability practices.
  • Granite School District, funds expansion of early childhood program through social-impact bond. This is the first investment of this kind. Social-impact bonds are loans that seek to achieve positive outcomes and reduce future costs by investing in prevention and intervention programs in the public sector. It is intended to save taxpayers money and provide a financial return for investors.

During the awards ceremony, Opening Minds USA will also present the Service to Young Children Award to El Valor for its commitment to enrich and empower urban families who are disabled, disenfranchised or underserved to achieve excellence and participate fully in community life.  Early childhood pioneer and University of Illinois professor emerita of Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Lilian Katz will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her trailblazing work in early childhood care and education.

Tickets for the awards ceremony are $50 each and can be purchased at  Tickets for individuals registered to attend the conference are $25 each. 

Opening Minds USA is the trusted advisor and resource for professionals and organizations that educate and care for young children. We design experiences, offer novel solutions and put good ideas to use to advance the entire early care and education industry for a global community. To learn more, visit us at

MEDIA CONTACT: Priscilla Hunter
312.286.6624 [m] or [email protected]

SOURCE Opening Minds USA

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