I wanted to update you on the amazing work which was done on your behalf this
past weekend in Urbana as we move through the restructuring process with NAEYC.
25 people representing 13 of 17 affiliates met on Friday night and worked
tirelessly until 10 PM and began work again for 5 hours on Saturday as well as
attending the quarterly board meeting. We had 27 people participating in the
work on Saturday.  We were well fed thanks to the generosity of:  Jan
Deissler, Rhonda Costa, Jackie Farber, Heart of Illinois AEYC and Betsy
Mitchell!  We needed plenty of sustenance to help us get through all of
the hard work!
I’d like to highlight our accomplishments:

  • Reviewed several state
    agreements between affiliates and chapters
  • Worked in small groups to
    decide what would work/not work in Illinois
  • Devised an outline for a
    template for the affiliate-chapter agreement in Illinois
  • Brainstormed the geographic
    layout of chapters in Illinois and the under served areas

WHEW!  It was a whirlwind weekend and I believe that everyone in
attendance was on a high  upon leaving Urbana! Our big AH HA moment was
during our discussion of the Illinois map.  We realized that our MEMBERS are the
heart of our work, not the chapter location, and when we realized this, our
work became crystal clear!  You could feel the energy as this realization
filtered through the room!  Here are some member comments as we ended the
We came here as us/them and
are leaving united.”

“There were no right/wrong
ideas; no one feeling they were in charge.”

“This was a very
collaborative and congenial meeting.”

“I enjoyed working in small
groups with diversity from around the state; it was nice to learn from mentors
in the state.”

“This was new to me and very

“We have the potential to be
a great presence.”

“It is important to hang
together to see this process through.”

No doubt we still have much work to be done.  An ad hoc committee will be
forming and will continue to hammer out the format of the draft template to
have ready for approval at the June board meeting.  Meanwhile, please
check in with your local affiliate to see how you can become involved with this
We will continue to keep you informed and if you have any questions, please do
not hesitate to contact me at president@illinoisaeyc.org or Tonya Frehner at tonya@illinoisaeyc.org
Thank you for all you do on behalf of the children in Illinois!  



Carol Weisheit

Illinois AEYC President

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