Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Memoriam: Marcia Stern

The Ackerman Institute for the Family was deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Marcia Stern on Tuesday, March 17, 2009. Dr. Stern passed away at her home in Arizona after a courageous battle against brain cancer.

“Marcia Stern was a highly respected and beloved colleague who devoted many years to the Ackerman Institute,” Lois Braverman, President of Ackerman, said. “She will be greatly missed, not only by our faculty and students, but also by the many teachers, parents and children who benefitted from her work through the years.”

As a psychologist, family therapist, and international workshop leader, Dr. Stern’s professional life was dedicated to helping children develop critically important social and emotional skills. Dr. Stern was the developer and director of Competent Kids/Caring Classrooms (CKCC), a primary prevention program for grades K-5. CKCC is a lively, interactive program that uses innovative tools, didactic instruction, puppets and original characters, music, movement, role playing, class discussion, and modeling by teachers and peers to promote children’s social-emotional competence and academic achievement. CKCC achieves this outcome by teaching children social-emotional competencies while simultaneously building caring connections within the school, and between home and school.

“Marcia knew children like no one else,” her close friend and colleague, Martha Edwards, Director of the Center for the Developing Child and Family, said. “ Her decades of experience as a teacher, guidance counselor, and school psychologist were ‘in her bones’ as she sat with children who struggled at home or in school. To this practical wisdom, she added an amazingly broad understanding of child development and neurobiology. With all of this as a foundation, she brought her wonderful spirit of playfulness, creativity and versatility that children (and their parents) found irresistible.”

Following Dr. Stern’s passing in March, the Ackerman Institute established the Marcia Stern Fund to honor her memory and continue her work. The Marcia Stern Fund will provide awards for training opportunities for educators to learn about children and their families. To date, the Fund has received more than $6,000 in gifts.

Donations to the Marcia Stern Fund are welcome. To contribute, please send your check, payable to the Ackerman Institute for the Family and with the Marcia Stern Fund written on the memo line, to Development Office, Ackerman Institute for the Family, 149 East 78th Street, New York, NY 10075.

You also may make your contribution online by going to Giving Opportunities on the Ackerman Institute website and clicking on the Marcia Stern Fund in the box titled Type of Donation.