PSU Announces Coos County Early Childhood Cohort

October 6th, 2011 by blyndes

PLYMOUTH, N.H.- The Early Childhood Studies program at Plymouth State University has selected five local students for the Coos County Early Childhood Leadership Cohort. The Cohort is one part of the Coos County Early Childhood Development Initiative, a multi-year, multi-partner, multi-million dollar collaborative effort funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation.  The overall goal of the Initiative is to improve the health, early care and education, and well-being of young children birth to age five and their families in Coos County. Dr. Mary Cornish, a PSU Education Professor, said the Cohort has the potential to develop future early childhood leaders in northern New Hampshire.

The Plymouth State University Coos County Early Childhood Leadership Cohort participants, left to right, Dana Lyons and Brooke Stevens of Colebrook, Amanda Pike, Gorham, Kelly Mason, Stratford and Samantha Hallee of Berlin.

“Our goal is for these students to become excellent early childhood teachers and leaders in Coos County,” said Cornish. “We are excited to work with such a promising group of future teachers.”

“I know I can make a difference in the North Country with the information the Cohort is providing me,” said Samantha Hallee of Berlin. “I have already learned so much. I knew from the  beginning this is what I wanted to do, but I never would have imagined the options I have to research and look into.”

Brooke Stevens of Colebrook adds, “I hope to make a difference in the lives of young children; the first few years of their life are so important and can affect them for a lifetime. I really  want to make a positive impact on the lives of young children in the North Country.”

Amanda Pike of Gorham noted, “I hope to gain a lot of knowledge and experience from all the opportunities I am being provided with to make the North Country a better place for future

The Coos County Early Childhood Leadership Cohort is part of a broader effort by Plymouth State’s Early Childhood Studies program to provide professional development and preparation for current and future early childhood teachers in the North Country. PSU Education Professor Dr. Patricia Cantor noted the teacher preparation efforts are based on solid research.

“Young children benefit when their teachers have specialized preparation in early childhood education,” said Cantor.  “The ideal is a bachelor’s degree in early childhood combined with experiences in high-quality early childhood settings.  This is what we hope to provide for the students in the Leadership Cohort, through our degree in Early Childhood Studies and accompanying field experiences at the PSU Center for Young Children and Families and child care programs in Coos County.”

All of the students have expressed their strong connection to Coos County and their commitment to building a future there.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or

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