Dr. R. Williams Named President-Elect of the SC Association for the Education of Young Children

Friday, April 1, 2011

Dr. Reginald Harrison Williams, assistant professor of early childhood education at SC State University, recently began a one year term as president–elect of the South Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (SCAEYC).  Williams will assume the presidency this fall.  “As president, I would be the voice and the face of the SCAEYC. I will take the take lead in helping the SCAEYC Board of Directors guide the organization in continuing to fulfill its mission and vision,” says Williams.  

The purpose of the SCAEYC is to serve and act on behalf of the needs, rights and well-being of all young children; to encourage the study, interpretation and improvement of their education and general well-being; to cooperate with other groups having compatible purposes and to support and promote local SCAEYC chapters/clusters.

SCAEYC is an affiliate of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age eight. Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with nearly 90,000 members, a national network of over 300 local, state and regional affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations. As the president of SCAEYC, Williams will promote education by increasing awareness of the need to focus on developmentally appropriate practices in teaching children in child care, independent school and public school settings, especially those that foster nurturance in exceptional children and those who speak English as a second language. “I aim to increase the participation and visibility of the growing body of SCAEYC student members because they will be responsible for ensuring that practices that best serve children educationally will continue to be used for future generations,” expressed Williams.

Williams will also promote collaboration between SCAEYC and other early childhood advocacy groups to ensure that the education of young children is given a unified support structure for early childhood professionals at all levels. “I plan to promote dialogue among pre-service and in-service teachers along with higher education faculty to continue to reform teacher education programs so that the next generation of teachers will continue to utilize developmentally appropriate practices,” says Williams. “I plan to take a vested interest in serving as a resource to South Carolina legislators in helping them to better understand the nuances in the field of early childhood education in order to better assure that future laws have children’s education, nurturing and welfare as a paramount concern,” Williams continued.

Over the course of his career, Williams has focused his research on the education of homeless children; the use of developmentally appropriate early childhood assessment; and the empowerment of parents, families, communities and schools during the early childhood years and infant/toddler curricula development.  He earned his Master of Arts in teaching in early-childhood education from SC State University.  He graduated with his Artium Baccalaureus(AB)in English from Duke University, Durham. N.C. Williams earned his Doctor of Philosophy in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina (USC), Columbia, S.C. Before attending USC, he served as an early childhood lead teacher in Bamberg School District Two in the pre-kindergarten department.

In 2011, he secured an infant/toddler curriculum implementation grant from the SC Department of Education to integrate the SC infant and toddler standards into SC State’s Early Childhood Education classes. 

He is the co-author of a number of articles related to his expertise and has presented at the National Association for the Education of Homeless Parents and Youth.

Williams, a very humble man, articulated his appreciation about the opportunity of promoting education for our youth. “I feel truly blessed and thankful to have the opportunity to be SCAEYC’s servant-leader.  I will do my best to guide my colleagues by supporting their efforts and serving them to the best of my abilities as they advocate for developmentally appropriate education for all children,” Williams said. “My goal is to lead by serving others, by empowering my colleagues, and to treat everyone as I wish to be treated myself,” expressed Williams.

Williams was born, raised and educated in the public schools in Denmark, S.C.  He is married to the former Shannon LA’Vett Paula Stukes.