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Early Childhood Educator Meets President Obama in Denver

Leslie A. Gresham, M.A., Early Childhood Educator meets with President Obama in Denver July 8, 2014.Leslie A. Gresham, M.A., early childhood educator, meets with President Barack Obama in Denver on July 8. They are joined by Denver area residents Liz Cooper, Carolyn and David Reed, and Alex Dooley at the Wazee Supper Club.By Marsha Basloe, Senior Advisor for Early Childhood Development

Have you ever thought about writing to the President of the United States? Did you do it? Well, Leslie did.

In March 2014, Leslie A. Gresham, recent recipient of the Apple Award for "Early Childhood Educator of the Year" in Douglas County School District, wrote to President Obama.

Part of her letter shared this invitation - “I absolutely love doing what I do and as do my teammates at Pioneer Preschool.  We have up to 66 preschoolers in 4 fully inclusive classrooms of special needs and typically developing little ones. I would like to invite you to come visit and see us in action. I am confident you would be amazed and delighted to see what's going on in early childhood. Thank you for your time and support.”

I was excited to have Leslie share this picture and her letter with me. She was pleased and excited about this opportunity.

“I am the one speaking while others are looking my way---pretty amazing experience I must say! I was impressed with the President's knowledge regarding the benefits of providing early childhood education and its impact down the road for our children and society. Our state, like many others, is involved in many initiatives to support the President's agenda for early childhood. As a full-time early childhood special education teacher, I continue to be energized by the students while challenged with how to further our platform---educating others is/has been key. I am especially interested in the social emotional development of our youngest students and supporting families with the many issues of raising socially competent children. I have been reading the articles attached to the newsletter that you sent along----and I see it's a big part of the conversation in Early Childhood.How exciting!”

Congratulations, Leslie! Thank you for your passion for this important work.

President Obama’s comprehensive early learning agenda invests in and strengthens early childhood education, care, and development for our nation’s youngest learners. It helps to prevent achievement gaps before they start, and invests from an early age in children as our most critical national resource.

For information on early childhood development, visit our website at

(By the way, the picture was taken in lower downtown Denver at the Wazee Supper Club. The other letter writers in the picture with Leslie were Liz Cooper, Carolyn and David Reed and Alex Dooley.)

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