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Introduction INTRODUCTION TO THE SECOND EDITION
Almost twenty years have passed since I wrote Celebrate! Much has changed
in early childhood education since then, and I was happy to be asked to update
that first edition.
As you probably know from your own classroom, immigration has increased
dramatically, early childhood education programs and home-based care are
serving more diverse populations of children, and questions of how, when, and
which holidays to celebrate have become more complex and controversial.
When I first wrote Celebrate!, I had just completed my graduate degree and
my tenth year as an early childhood educator. Now I have thirty years in the
field and am an administrator, and my range of experiences have added to my
perspective on the ways holidays can be included in early learning classrooms.
My goal here is to update you on methods for introducing familiar and unfa-
miliar holidays, backed by strategies for partnering with families and staff to
develop agreed-upon practices.
I hope that you’ll read the longer introduction to the 1997 edition of
Celebrate!, which follows this one. Here, I’d like simply to point out some of the
differences in how I now approach holidays in the program I administer.
The 1997 edition put information about planning holiday activities first.
This time the nuts and bolts of classroom holiday activities come first. That’s
because possessing a good toolbox is invaluable to you, as a busy classroom
teacher. This 2016 edition starts with a brief overview of what’s changed demo-
graphically in U.S. early childhood programs and offers some ideas about why
holiday practices haven’t changed much in twenty years and what we need
to commit to in order to effect change (chapter 1); offers proven ways to build
suc-cessful holiday activities in your classroom (chapters 2 through 6); and
describes proven processes for planning and implementing policy changes in
your own program (chapters 7 through 12). Chapter 13 provides the
perspectives of three