PNW to host early education expert Erika Christakis

Erika Christakis

WESTVILLE — Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) School of Education and Counseling (SoEC) and Office of Concurrent Enrollment will host early education expert Erika Christakis from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in the Great Hall of the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex (DSAC), 1401 South U.S. 421, at the Westville Campus for a presentation titled, “The Importance of Being Little and the Value of Play.”

Christakis will discuss how childhood is a distinct stage in life and why children need supportive grown-ups to nurture and guide them. The event is free and open to the public.

“It is very exciting to host a nationally-known early educator and scholar at PNW to celebrate childhood,” said Mary Jane Eisenhauer, professor of Early Childhood Education and interim associate director of SoEC. “Erika Christakis is a staunch supporter of rich early experiences, which we know lead to impactful outcomes for health, learning and life.” 

To encourage the importance of play, guests are invited to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.

According to PNW, Erika Christakis is an early childhood educator, New York Times best-selling author of “The Importance of Being Little: What Young Children Really Need From Grownups,” and a member of the National Advisory Board of Defending the Early Years. She has written and consulted widely about child development from preschool through the college years, drawing on her experiences as a teacher, preschool director, and college administrator. Her work has been featured in many nationally circulated media outlets and she holds master’s degrees in public health, communication, and early childhood education.

 Christakis’ book will be available for purchase in the PNW bookstore on the Westville Campus and she will be signing copies of her book after the event.

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