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The Early Years

A Tireless Advocate

Peggy Ashbrook
Peggy Ashbrook


This month, we wish a fond farewell to Early Years columnist Peggy Ashbrook as she retires from writing duties, along with the best parting gift she could ask for—the column resumes this month! What can one say about the influence and impact Peggy has had on early childhood education as a writer, collaborator, and science mentor for decades? What better way to honor Peggy than with words from people she has influenced and worked with over the years?

Linda Froschauer, Science and Children
Editor 2009–2018; NSTA President, 2006–2007

Peggy created The Early Years by sharing her firsthand experiences and delving into a variety of resources. Always with the readers in mind, she explained what to do and what to expect as a classroom teacher. The readers knew they could depend on successful learning when they used the ideas she shared. She not only provided the professional details for each monthly column, she had her heart in every column as well.

Cindy Hoisington, Science Educator, Education Development Center (EDC), Waltham MA

Peggy’s tireless and long-standing advocacy for the right of all children to have access to high-quality, standards-based, and joyful early science experiences is an inspiration and a call to action for all of the educators, families, and colleagues whose lives she touches. I trust that NSTA will ensure that her Early Years columns are accessible and available as resources for the field far into the future.

Anne Lowry, Teacher, Aleph Academy, Reno, NV

Peggy has a gift for seeing the good in people, ideas, and writing. She knows the research, and has the connections to find out more, but also makes those she is talking to feel as if they have important thoughts and insights on the topic. Peggy is a role model for all aspiring teachers and writers.

Sarah Maynard, Director, Gan Teva at Ner Shalom ELC, Woodbridge, VA

Peggy Ashbrook is much more than a few lines can share, but perhaps most importantly, she is the most change-inspiring woman of science I have ever met. Her inclusive, welcoming manner makes joining the ranks of Early Childhood Science Teachers exciting and inspiring rather than intimidating. 

Sherri Peterson, Iowa Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa

I became acquainted with Peggy when I attended my first Early Childhood Science Interest Forum annual meeting at the NAEYC conference in 2016. During the meeting it became clear that others looked to her for guidance. She was clearly a leader—but a servant leader in the truest sense. She truly cares about the early childhood science community and works to find ways to broaden the influence of our small group of like-minded people.

Joe Robinson, Teacher, E.L. Haynes PCS, Washington, D.C.

Peggy is a tireless advocate for both children and educators. She brings people together and helps them learn from each other. Knowing her, reading her pieces, and pondering her questions makes me a better educator, and my students benefit greatly as a result.

Beth Dykstra VanMeeteren, EdD, Director of the Iowa Regents’ Center for Early
Developmental Education at the
University of Northern Iowa

Peggy’s focus on the importance of early childhood science was groundbreaking and resulted in the establishment of the Early Childhood Science Interest Forum at NAEYC, the group that led the writing of the 2014 NSTA Early Childhood Science Education Position Statement. I learned much from Peggy in how to effectively advocate for high-quality science instruction for young children.

Jeff Winokur, Early Childhood and
Elementary Science Educator, Newton, MA

We in the early childhood science education community owe Peggy a debt of gratitude for keeping the need for science front and center. If we take into consideration her longstanding role as Science and Children columnist and her other writing, it’s undeniable that Peggy has been among the most consistent and persistent advocates for science in the early years.

Karen Worth, Consultant in Science
Education, Early Childhood and
Elementary Years, Newton, MA

Peggy is inspiring in her dedication to bringing experiential science to young children, their teachers, and their families. She has a deep knowledge of science education and is a loved and respected source for quality science experiences for the young.

Sonia Yoshizawa, STEM and Creativity Author, East Tennessee State University

Peggy, your dedication, perseverance, extensive experience working with teachers and children, and passion for science were the ingredients for your gifted writing skills. Thank you for being a role model for all science lovers who work so hard with children!

Peggy, we will miss your contributions to the journal, yet the column’s spirit and influence will continue with our new columnists Shelly Lynn Counsell and Alissa Lange. So let’s welcome them to our Science and Children family.

With sincere appreciation from the S&C team, Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn, Editor, and Valynda Mayes, Managing Editor

Advocacy Early Childhood

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