Volunteer

Volunteers are vital members of the Collaboration for Early Childhood and play an essential role in its success.

Interested in volunteering for a board committee or at Collaboration events like a family dance party, Junior Dash of the Good Life Race or the Symposium?
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Being involved in the Collaboration for Early Childhood is easily the most interesting, challenging, and rewarding volunteer work I've ever been engaged in!
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Join Us!

Volunteers contribute their time, talent and expertise to the Collaboration through committee work, board work and volunteering at events. Early childhood educators, developmental service professionals, physicians, nurses, social workers, writers, photographers, lawyers, development professionals, graphic designers, accountants, business people, researchers, database developers, information technology experts and community members all work with the Collaboration in meaningful ways to ensure the organization’s success in helping every child arrive at kindergarten eager to learn and ready to succeed.
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Developmental Screening Committee

The Developmental Screening Committee provides guidance and oversight around the establishment of an effective Developmental Screening and Referral System. Contact Shannon Ellison to volunteer.

Developmental Screening Committee Members

  • Ann Courter, Chair, Early Childhood Community Systems Consultant
  • Catherine Amato, Case Manager at Lurie Children’s Health Partners
  • Rebecca Barbato, Pediatrician, Loyola Family Health Center, North Riverside
  • Shannon Ellison, Developmental Screening Coordinator, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Melissa Ehmann, Service Coordinator at Suburban Access, CFC 7
  • Abigail Hodges, Pediatrician, Oak Park Pediatrics
  • Elizabeth Lippitt, Executive Director, Infant Welfare Society’s Children’s Clinic
  • Michele Suedbeck, Early Childhood Coordinator, District 97
  • Karen Walker, Pediatrician, Pediagroup and Infant Welfare Society’s Children’s Clinic
  • Stephanie Weller, Medical Director, Infant Welfare Society’s Children’s Clinic
  • Rachel Wood, Division Chief of Children’s Services, Oak–Leyden Developmental Services
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Professional Development Committee

The Professional Development Committee provides guidance to and oversight of all professional development activities, including the Annual Symposium, that promote a highly qualified and effective early childhood workforce in the Oak Park and River Forest area. Contact Heather Duncan to volunteer.

Professional Development Committee Members

  • Lisa Ginet, Assistant Director of instruction, Early Math Collaborative, Erikson Institute
  • Amy Cardin, Teacher, First United Church Nursery School
  • Leslie Gilbert, Quality Specialist, Illinois Action for Children
  • Cheery Coffey Gunn, Cheery’s Little Rascals
  • Francisca Contreras, Training supervisor, Illinois Action for Children
  • Amanda Heiman, Recreation Manager, Park District of Oak Park
  • Jan Johnston, Family Therapist, Author, Trainer
  • Doris Knuth, Director, Concordia University Early Childhood Education Center
  • BJ Richards, BJ’s Kids
  • Heather Duncan, Director of Early Learning, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Joan White, Director, First United Church Nursery School
  • Penny Williams Wolford, Consultant, Professional Development Advisor, Illinois Gateways
  • Rachel Wood, Division Chief of Children’s Services, Oak–Leyden Developmental Services
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Public Preschool Committee

The Public Preschool Committee provides guidance to, and oversight of, all professional development activities, and coordinates a unified outreach, screening and registration of at-risk preschool age children to ensure the most at-risk children are enrolled in the programs. It also promotes the coordinated use of assessment strategies to monitor children’s progress. To volunteer contact Heather Duncan.

Public Preschool Committee Members

  • Heather Duncan, Committee Chair, Director of Early Learning, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Cari Christoff, Executive Director, Oak Park River Forest Day Nursery
  • Bernadette Hicks, Owner and Director, ABC Toon Town Child Care and Early Learning Center
  • Ruth Martin, Director, Pilgrim Community Nursery School
  • Melissa Smith, Head Start Director, Hephzibah Children’s Association
  • Michele Suedbeck, Early Childhood Coordinator, District 97
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Measurement and Evaluation Committee

The Measurement and Research Committee provides guidance to, and oversight of, data collection, database development, data analysis and research activities of the Collaboration. The committee works closely with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. To volunteer contact Laura Crawford.

Measurement and Evaluation Committee Members

  • John Borrero, Executive Director, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Ann Courter, Community Member
  • Laura Crawford, Director of Operations, Collaboration for Early Childhood
  • Marcus Croom, Collaboration Board of Directors
  • Emily Culbertson, Web Strategist and Planner
  • Rupa Datta, Collaboration Board of Directors
  • Gina Lowell, Collaboration Board of Directors
  • Debbie McCann, Partner, W4Insight, LLC
  • Greg Sanders, Community Member
  • Bob Spatz, Community Member
  • Penny Wallingford, Chair, Collaboration Board of Directors

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Volunteer Opportunities