Edward Zigler to Receive Award from Private Family Foundation

Yale Professor Edward Zigler has been named the first recipient of the Early Childhood Leadership Award of the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation.

Yale Professor Edward Zigler has been named the first recipient of the Early Childhood Leadership Award of the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation.

Zigler, the Sterling Professor of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, will be presented with the award June 26 at the foundation’s 20th Anniversary Symposium at the Yale Club in New York City. The award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant.

“A special interest we have is to create and maintain leadership in the early childhood field, to make sure that all of the good things that have been done will become the tools for a new generation,” said Marilyn Segal, retired chair of the foundation. “We thought one of the ways that we could accomplish our goal would be to honor a person every other year who has been an outstanding leader in the field and who has really shaped the course of early childhood. Hands down, we agreed that our first recipient should be Dr. Zigler.”

Zigler is credited with conceiving programs and policies such as Head Start and family leave. He is director of Yale’s Bush Center in Child Development and Social Policy.

Luba Lynch, executive director of the foundation, said one quality the foundation believes Zigler embodies is the ability to nurture young scholars. “He so frequently calls me to tell me, ‘This young person is doing exceptional work,’” she said. “Our symposium is dedicated to the notion that we need to all work together to assure a bright future for our children. If we are going to do that, we need leadership at all levels and in every sector.”

The A.L. Mailman Family Foundation is one of two successor foundations to the Mailman Foundation, which was established in 1943 by brothers Abraham and Joseph Mailman with assets from their work as entrepreneurs and financiers. The foundation focuses on early childhood and its mission is to enhance the ability of families and communities to nurture their children. The foundation funds projects of national import in the areas of early childhood education, family support and the fostering of moral development and social responsibility.

“Our foundation focuses on early childhood because we believe that early experiences have unique power,” said Betty S. Bardige, the foundation’s chair. “Ed Zigler has been at the forefront of shaping policies and programs that support families and communities in nurturing their children, and that can give every child a promising foundation for later success.”

The foundation’s 20th anniversary symposium is titled, “Inspiring Leaders for 2000 and Beyond: Leading the Way to Quality Care and Education for Our Youngest Children.” The symposium will bring together early childhood leaders, including funders and policy makers, as well as researchers and practitioners. It provides an opportunity to examine new ideas, explore collaborative possibilities and share strategies for improving systems of early care and education.

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