Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
Niagara’s Early Learning and Child Care Awards of Excellence took place recently and Brock University’s Sana Siddiqui was among the winners.
Held at the Holiday Inn & Suites on Ontario Street in St. Catharines, over 300 guests attended the gala in which Siddiqui was honoured with the inaugural Bachelor of Early Childhood Education Outstanding Student award.
The award, which recognizes a student who has demonstrated the standards of practice and ethics of care in both their academic pursuits and their contributions to the early childhood community, is similar to Niagara College’s Margaret Hamilton Student Award which has long been a part of the Awards of Excellence.
“Students were invited to nominate someone in their final year of the BECE program and the compelling examples of Sana’s professionalism and positive attitude won the committee over,” said Dr. Mary-Louise Vanderlee. “In their nominations, her peers shared stories of how dedicated Sana is to her studies as well as how she was able to overcome the obstacles of immigrating to Canada, which included the need to learn English.”
But it wasn’t just how hard she worked in order to succeed in her studies, it extended beyond the classroom as well.
“Importantly, students also commented on Sana’s dedication to supporting children with unique needs back home and how she tirelessly contributes hours of time tutoring children in her community each weekend,” said Vanderlee. “ The endless support offered to her peers was clearly appreciated as was her always visible warm smile. With her father present, Sana humbly came up to the stage to receive her award. The smile on her face said it all. We are delighted that Sana was the first recipient of the outstanding student award.
Coordinated by the Early Childhood Community Development Centre and the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario over 60 local Registered Early Childhood Educators, program staff, volunteers, full day early learning programs, and students were recognized.
“The passion for the early years could be felt with the supportive crowd cheering for each and every award recipient,” said Vanderlee of the event’s atmosphere. “We are so lucky to have a community vested in recognizing those who are charged with the care and education of our youngest community members.”
Vanderlee also noted the tireless work and dedication of early childhood educators is very much celebrating and that she and her colleague Dr. Debra Harwood feel “honoured to be a part of a special network of caring individuals; from the child care sector to the local school boards, community organizations and associations who provide quality programs and services to young children and their families”.
Sponsored by Louise Kool & Galt, one of Canada’s leading suppliers of educational toys, teaching aids, and classroom equipment. Many local businesses, including Sun Media Niagara, Meridian Credit Union, Pen Financial Credit Union, Henderson’s Pharmacy, Westpier Marine & Industrial Supply, Minuteman Press, A Child’s World Family Child Care Services of Niagara, Gay Douglas & Associates, and B&J Catering II also generously helped aid in the events production.