Meet the new aRPy Ambassadors!
The 2020 cohort of 'aRPy ambassadors' from across the country help states with dissemination and implementation of the DEC Recommended Practices for the care and education of infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities.
Through a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, the ECTA Center developed a suite of free resources and videos – starring the animated spokesperson 'aRPy' for whom the project is named – to help practitioners and families apply these recommended practices to developmental interventions in everyday routines and settings involving children and families.
The aRPy ambassador initiative represents a unique partnership between the ECTA Center, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children, and the Region B Parent Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at Parent to Parent of Georgia. The partners contributed to the processes of selecting, preparing, and supporting these 22 professionals from across the country who act as aRPy ambassadors.
The ambassadors form an international cohort with knowledge of evidence-based practices, professional development and training, and their state's early childhood services and practitioner networks. Not only will ambassadors collaborate with one another to develop and share strategies and resources, but each will develop and implement goals aimed at improving outcomes for young children and their families.
2016's inaugural group of ambassadors were instrumental in helping to design, document, and make recommendations for supporting this new group of ambassadors to disseminate materials nationally. The group will meet in person with ECTA in April 2020 to receive training and support, including a toolkit to use in their activities.