Inside Erikson | October 2020 Newsletter

October, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter our daily lives, both personally and professionally. Our thoughts are with the more than 210,000 people in the United States who have tragically lost their lives to the virus. The news over the weekend of COVID infections spreading through our nation’s highest office is a reminder we must continue to be vigilant in following public health and safety guidelines.

Keeping the safety of the entire Erikson community in mind, we announced last week that Erikson has decided to continue offering classes remotely for the Spring term. This decision was made after careful consideration of the evolving situation with coronavirus. As always, the health and safety of our staff, students, and clients, is our top priority.

Erikson is proud to begin race equity work with Chicago ROAR this month, as they offer our staff anti-racism workshops through October. The trainings will help us create a shared language and understanding as we begin to examine the policies, programs, and procedures at Erikson that need to be made more equitable.

Finally, as we celebrate Latinx heritage month (September 15 through October 15), it’s a good time to remind everyone that Erikson’s Center for Children and Families (CCF) and Fussy Baby Network (FBN) offer services in Spanish. CCF provides therapeutic mental health services to families with children ages birth to eight. FBN offers information and support via its phone “warmline,” virtual home visits, and virtual groups for families with infants who are struggling with crying, feeding, sleeping or other challenging behaviors. Learn more here.

Erikson Updates

smiling african american father and little son playing with colorful blocks together at home

NAFSCE partnering with Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative

The National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE) will partner with Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative to create and lead a national center on family math. The project is an initiative of families, researchers, practitioners, advocates, and philanthropy intended to close opportunity and achievement gaps. Read more here.

Chadwick Boseman

Talking with kids about racism

Erikson Associate Professor Tonya Bibbs explores how to talk with children about racism and equity in the midst of the loss of a superhero, Chadwick Boseman. “Now, more than ever, we need to channel Black Panther’s strength and begin having brave conversations with children about racism.” Read her essay here.

Virtual Graduation

Virtual IECMH graduation

On September 11, Erikson held a virtual graduation ceremony for the students in our Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program. The graduates were joined online by family and friends to celebrate their accomplishments. See more about the virtual graduation here.

3 C's

3 C’s webinar

Erikson’s Infant Mental Health Specialist Siemone Smith joined a VOCEL Masterclass to discuss the challenges of managing change and transitions for young children. Siemone shared concrete tools caregivers can use to support their little ones using the 3 C’s (conversation, connection, and consistency). View the webinar here.

Clare Killy

Erikson alumna hosts new podcast

Erikson alumna and adjunct faculty member Clare Killy (MS in Child Development, 2013) is the Director of Inclusive Solutions at the local non-profit Aspire. The agency recently launched a new podcast, Amplify Inclusion, which highlights stories exploring the power and importance of disability inclusion. You can explore the complete first season of Amplify Inclusion on Podbean or Apple Podcasts.

October 2020 Events

Conversation with Jane Elliott

On October 7 from 6-8pm CDT, join Lifting Up Early Childhood for a conversation, panel discussion, and Q&A with anti-racism activist Jane Elliott. The event will be moderated by Erikson’s Associate Vice President of Policy, Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas.

New TEC Center workshops for teachers

On October 19 and 21, Erikson’s TEC Center will offer two new virtual professional development workshop series for early childhood educators. The cost is $75 per session, and attendees will receive 2 PD credits.

Virtual Language and Literacy professional development opportunities

Two virtual professional development opportunities presented by Erikson’s Language and Literacy Partners are now available for teachers beginning in late October. Early bird registration discounts are available for school administrators until October 12th.

Erikson in the News

october news

Chalkbeat article featuring Erikson’s Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas

Erikson’s Associate Vice President of Policy Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas was quoted in this Chalkbeat article discussing how school districts in Illinois evaluate teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Tonya Bibbs discusses childhood mental health

The pandemic has affected us all, but how has it impacted the mental health of children and parents? Erikson Associate Professors Dr. Tonya Bibbs weighs in on this topics with the Living Well Podcast.

Stay Connected & Sign Up to Receive Our Monthly Newsletter Now

About Erikson


Graduate Education

Recognized for our groundbreaking work in the field of early childhood, Erikson specializes in preparing child development, education, and social work leaders to improve the lives of young children, families, and their communities. For more information on our degree and certificate programs, click here or email our admissions team.

Clinical and Community Services

As we adapt to these unexpected and challenging times due to COVID-19, Erikson’s Center for Children and Families is offering virtual mental health services to parents, caregivers, and children, as well as crisis counseling and consultation to support first responders and early childcare providers and teachers. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.

We have also re-opened our River North clinic for services that require in-person assessments, including Early Intervention Medical and Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Evaluations.

Our Fussy Baby Network, which helps families struggling with their infants’ crying, sleeping, or feeding, has also pivoted to provide more of its services, like home visits, in a virtual environment.

Policy and Leadership

Erikson’s Policy and Leadership department engages leaders in government, business, and nonprofit sectors to inform effective policies that benefit children and families. They offer unique programming that equips decision-makers and influencers with the resources, skills, and deep knowledge about early childhood development that will support their efforts to make lasting change. Learn more about our Policy and Leadership.

Give to Erikson

Every gift made to Erikson supports work that has limitless influence, translating directly to innovative programs that empower early childhood professionals, provide services, and shape policies and practices — all helping children and families achieve their full potential. Make a gift to Erikson today.

More Ways To Connect

Learn more about Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative and TEC Center.