Steven Shuman of Education Development Center (EDC), was awarded the Dr. Susan S. Aronson Early Education and Child Care Advocacy Award for 2020 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Council on Early Childhood. Each year, the prestigious award is presented to a champion for children in early education and child-care settings who has made a significant contribution to improving the health, safety, and development of young children.
A senior training and technical assistance associate at EDC, Shuman has devoted his career to supporting educators in promoting children’s health, well-being, and school readiness. For almost 50 years, his trainings, resources, advocacy, and support have helped Head Start and child-care programs reach high levels of excellence in serving children and families.
For nine years, Shuman served as a lead trainer and instructional designer for the National Center on Health and the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, both funded by the Office of Head Start (OHS). Currently, he is the director of Outreach and Distance Learning for OHS’s new National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety led by EDC and Georgetown University.
As the manager of an Infoline, which responds to questions from Head Start directors, staff, and families nationwide, Shuman has responded to over 6,000 queries about health, behavioral health, and safety since 2016. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he has worked tirelessly to respond to the dramatic increase in queries that have come into the Infoline. In one five-week period, he answered 1,276 questions related to COVID-19 with the support of a colleague.
Shuman accepted the award during a ceremony at the 2020 AAP Virtual National Conference & Exhibition on October 4. During the conferral of the award, Shuman said, “Having started my career in early childhood before moving into public health, I have always seen myself as a kind of bridge between the two fields. I stand on the strong shoulders of remarkable and generous doctors, nurses, and policymakers—none greater than the namesake of the award, affectionately known as ‘Dr. Sue.’”