Early Childhood Education Innovators Recognized at Retirement.City declares ‘Rick Hulefeld Day’


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Federal officials say the average age in Covington is 36.9, six years less than the 43 years Rick Hulefeld devoted to Kentucky’s early childhood cause.

In other words, more than half of Covington’s residents were not alive when Hulefeld began working for children here. So he founded an incredibly innovative non-profit, Children Inc., which is now expanding into Learning Grove.

In recognition of Mr. Hulefeld’s fierce advocacy, tireless efforts and sustainable success over 40 years, the Covington City Council has declared May 11 as Covington’s “Rick Hulefeld Day.” . And last night, a group of his friends, colleagues and colleagues held an event at Learning Grove in honor of Hueleveld to mark his retirement from the thriving organization he had built on his dreams.

Rick Hulefeld with his wife Mary and Covington city leaders.

Hurefeld recently announced her retirement from the nonprofit Learning Globe, which runs a network of children and centers that help them. In 1979 he began serving as Executive Director of Cathedral Child Care, and in 2017 he served as the company’s founder and director until Children Inc. merged with a Cincinnati agency to form Learning Grove. acted as leader.

Statewide, Hulefeld held leadership roles on the Governor’s Task Force on Early Childhood Development and Education, chaired the Kentucky Early Childhood Advisory Board for several years, and frequently testified before the Kentucky Legislative Committee. and acted as an ambassador to promote early childhood education in general. Wisdom and Benefits of Early Childhood Education.

Focusing on the science behind the critical brain development that occurs in the first three years of a child’s life, he has built a K-12 service that has grown to serve over 25,000 students and teachers each year. Brought the annual Brain Conference to Covington to showcase learning initiatives. . He was also the godfather of the city’s current Read Ready Covington Early Literacy Initiative.

Covington Mayor Joe Meyer was secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet of Education and Workforce Development when he was governor of Kentucky at the time. Steve Beshear called Hulefeldt a “staunch advocate” for early childhood education and appointed him chairman of a newly created advisory board to help families and communities across the Commonwealth. He said he will continue to benefit from his work in the future.

More recently, Hulefeld NKy Tribune We thank NewsMaker for their contributions to the community over the years.

Rick Hulefeld with his young fans and the beneficiaries of his work.

“Recognizing Rick on his retirement is the least we can do to say ‘thank you’ for all that[he]has done for all of us,” Meyer said. .

At a rally honoring Mr. Huelefeld Thursday night, longtime friends celebrated his dedication, “silly” humor, honesty, open-mindedness, and endless ideas for improving the lives of children and families. talked about Huleveld understood the importance of focusing on early childhood development long before the issue was generally accepted by the education system and the general public, they agreed.

“Covington is a wonderful place to live your dreams,” he said. “We don’t do things alone, or at least we shouldn’t try,” Huelefeld said.

But Hulefeldt also warned leaders not to rest.

“We still face challenges,” he said. “Too many children are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade, and this has a lot to do with early childhood. are graduating without a real plan that they believe in, based on their hopes.”

Hulefeldt became a legend in his time. And his work will continue to evolve as it is embraced by the team at Learning and his Grove.

Read more NKyTribune articles about Rick Hulefeld here.

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