FCCLA Executive Director Shares Her Passion for the High School CDA

December 15, 2021

The Executive Director of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Sandy Spavone, has expressed her passion for the role of early childhood education opportunities within CTE programs. We had the pleasure to sit down with Sandy Spavone at the 2021 Early Educators Leadership Conference (EELC) for an interview on early childhood within Family and Consumer Sciences programs.

“It is an exciting opportunity for today’s youth to see that they can have that input into the next generation of children and make a difference,” she says. “Students sometimes don’t think early childhood is a career they want to do, and then they get hooked. If we don’t introduce it to them, they might not think of it as a career that they would like to explore and prepare for. So, I really feel that giving them that exploratory opportunity—letting them get in there, see what it’s like, and lighting the inspiration in their heart— is the most exciting thing that we can do.”  You can watch the full video here.

Established in 1945, the FCCLA focuses on preparing students to become successful family members, wage earners and community leaders. And early childhood programs are a key part of the Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum, the base for FCCLA.

In high school, students begin to earn the requirements for the CDA®, which Sandy says is a credential that many “states and a lot of our schools are really trying to encourage the students to participate in, to fill the workforce need for early childhood educators and get them ready to be part of that career.”

If you are interested in establishing a CDA high school CTE program or would like to learn more about the benefits of the program, we encourage you to visit our High School Pathways page. You will have access to our webinar, fact sheet and FAQs. In addition, you can download our free CDA high school handbook. The handbook provides templates, workbooks, budgets, and guides for engaging administrators, instructors, and students in creating a sustainable high school program.

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