Mark Marano, ’18, was named Early Educator of the Year by Child360, a Los Angeles–based nonprofit that advocates for young children in Southern California. Marano earned an MS in Early Childhood: Inclusive Ed and Curriculum & Instruction from Portland State University as an online student. He works for Long Beach City College Child Development Center and Learning Lab, in Long Beach, California.
Marano believes it’s important for men to go into early childhood. “There’s not a lot of men in this field,” he said. “I want to serve as a role model to future educators. Specifically, I want them to see that early childhood is a viable option that they can make a living doing, and it’s a serious career. I think it’s important to have men in early childhood education so that children early on can see men in caregiving roles.”
From his nomination:
“Inspired by the unmet needs of his younger sister as a child, Mr. Marano is committed to making every child feel seen, and equal to their peers, no matter their culture or economic background. He takes this philosophy beyond his classroom and spearheads a school-wide teacher training initiative focused on anti-bias education and creating inclusive classroom environments.”
Formerly known as LAUP, Child360 was a part of a California statewide early childhood movement that was established as a nonprofit in Los Angeles County to support the care and development of the county’s youngest learners. Over the years, Child360 has supported the operation and development of more than 900 early learning providers in Los Angeles County, touching the lives of over 200,000 children through enriching curricula and nurturing environments aimed to best prepare children to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. Since then, the nonprofit has grown in scale and scope throughout Southern California and is now taking on critical action for children nationwide.