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Archived — Prime Minister Honours Innovative Teachers and Announces New Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education

May 23, 2002
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien today announced the 2001-02 recipients of the Prime Minister's Awards (PMA) for Teaching Excellence at a gala event on Parliament Hill honouring national winners. Prime Minister Chrétien also announced a new award to honour the achievements of educators who instruct and inspire Canada's youngest children.

"Every day, the teachers we honour today develop new and creative ways to help young people learn," said Prime Minister Chrétien. "They meet their students with energy, with creativity, and an unshakeable determination to see these kids succeed. We owe these teachers an incredible debt." The Prime Minister also commented on the global approach some winning teachers have used to help students see themselves as "citizens of the world."

This year, 72 teachers will receive a Prime Minister's Award, 19 at the national (Certificate of Excellence) level. Local (Certificate of Achievement) recipients will be honoured by Members of Parliament at community events later in the year. Recipients teach a range of subjects, with most using information and communications technology to enhance their teaching.

Industry Minister Allan Rock, whose department administers the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence, stated "These creative and dedicated educators are helping young Canadians build the skills they will need to succeed in our innovation-driven economy".

Representing the Minister of Industry at the ceremony, Secretary of State (Research, Science and Technology) Maurizio Bevilacqua thanked the Award's corporate partners for their continued support: Bell Canada, Canadian Learning Television, The GE Fund, Kraft Canada, Microsoft Canada and the RBC Financial Group.

The Prime Minister also took advantage of this opportunity to announce the creation of a new Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education. This new award is an extension of the Prime Minister's Awards for Teaching Excellence, which have honoured exemplary elementary and secondary school teachers since 1993.

"We know that learning takes place from the earliest years," said the Prime Minister. "Research has shown that those years are critical to establishing a strong foundation for learning, behaviour and health over their lifetimes. Dedicated and talented early childhood educators are key builders of this foundation. The award will recognize the critical role that early childhood educators play in shaping the lives of Canada's young children."

Like the existing program, this award will promote recipients' achievements and enable them to share their best care and teaching practices for the benefit of fellow educators and early learners. The award will also include a special focus on Aboriginal early childhood educators.

For more details, please contact the PMA Program Office at: 1-800-575-9200 or visit the PMA website.

PMO Press Office: 613-957-5555
Lynn Stevenson: PMA Program Office 613-941-2686

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