CSUSB Student Receives Foundation Award to Help Infants and Toddlers Further Their Development


Teresa Olin (left) and Kay Lokoff (right), founder of TLLCCF. The award is named after her daughter, Terri.

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley) – Teresa Olin, a Cal State San Bernardino graduate student, is the recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Foundation Program award, given at the Children’s TYLENOL National Child Care Teacher Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia in April.

Olin, a second-year graduate student in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences child development program and head teacher in the CSUSB Infant Toddler Lab School, applied for the award proposing her idea to use water as a teaching method for the children.

“When I received the letter congratulating me on winning, I was shocked,” said Olin, who had earned her bachelor’s degree in child development from CSUSB. “It’s a huge award and I was surprised and grateful that I had won. I am doing what is best for the children and families at my center, and to be recognized with such an award is a truly humbling experience.”

The award recognizes childcare teachers who provide quality early care and education to children. As part of the application process, each applicant is asked to design a classroom enhancement project for the children they teach illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits of the project.

Teresa Olin and Lynn Marks Schleifer (President of Board of Directors, TLLCCF).

Teresa Olin and Lynn Marks Schleifer (President of Board of Directors, TLLCCF).

 “I am very pleased with Teresa’s accomplishment in receiving this national teaching award,” said Deanna Herndon, site director of the Infant Toddler Lab School. “Her ability to connect with the children is truly an inspiration to all. This well-deserved award has made our program more visible as a high quality infant and toddler program in the community.”

Olin, who has been working at the lab school for the last six years, said that using the $500 award to buy a new water table for the center seemed like a great idea since most children love water play. She believes that water is versatile and can be a calming activity; it can be exciting, promote thinking and cause-and-effect.

“Giving children respect, presence, and a chance to be a child — the chance to get messy, to have fun, to make mistakes, and to investigate their world — is what makes a great teacher,” said Olin.

“My director and fellow teachers at the Infant and Toddler Lab School at CSUSB have also helped me become the teacher I am today because they challenge and push me to become the best teacher I can be,” she said.

“All of the professors in the Human Development and Child Development program here at CSUSB played an important role in my teaching,” said Olin, an Apple Valley resident. “They all have mentored me through my teaching career and given me the skills and tools I need to work with young children.”

For more information on the Infant Toddler Lab School, contact Deanna Herndon at (909) 537-3641 or email dherndon@csusb.edu.

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