Our Stories



We are extremely fortunate and grateful to have four amazing historians on our Chapter Board.

Marilyn Shelton, Catherine Mathis, Diana Decker, and Charmaine Fitzgerald have been working diligently to organize and reconstruct the history of the Central California Chapter of CAAEYC.  We do not have enough words to express our gratitude.

Spanning over 50 years in the Central Valley, we have been a driving force in early care and education.  Through this time we have indured many changes. We have grown, struggled, reinvented, laughed, cried, hoped, fought, worked, persevered and above all loved and cherished those that we stand beside.

Our hope is that as this page takes shape, you to will be inspired by the stories, photographs, momentos, and passion that has grown and nurtured this association for over 50 years.

"Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." - Dr. Suess

A Note from Our Historians

Introduction to the History of the Central California Chapter of CAAEYC


Coral Edquist had been the Central California Association for the Education of Young Children (CCAEYC) historian for many years and compiled the history from 1966 to 1992. The CCAEYC chapter did not have an active historian for the next 20 years. In 2012, Marilyn Shelton and Catherine Mathis became co-historians. At that time the board requested the following yearly information: names of officers, activities, programs, events, and major accomplishments. The board also wanted to know when our chapter began, and what happened at the state and national levels.

The first question the historians Marilyn and Catherine were able to fully answer is when CCAEYC began. Our roots began in the 1920s with the National Association for Nursery Education (NANE). In 1964 that organization was reorganized and became the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Edith Storey provided our clear link between the two organizations; she was active in the Central California Chapter of NANE, and was an officer with CCAEYC when NAEYC was formed. One of CCAEYC’s major accomplishments was to have a Fresno Unified Elementary School named after Edith Storey.

Because there hadn’t been a historian for 20 years, documents were not systematically collected or organized. In the beginning of their jobs as historians, the bulk of what Marilyn and Catherine had to work with were Marilyn’s personal files from when she was newsletter editor and chapter president. These co-historians began going through what documents they had, and spent a lot of time creating a reporting system which would include all of the information that the board requested. 

Fortunately the co-historians received many important documents over the next few years. First of all was a copy of Coral Edquist’s records that included a summary of chapter activities from 1966 to 1992. Several years later another monumental finding was seven huge plastic storage tubs from the chapter’s storage unit. These tubs contained files and notebooks full of board minutes, program fliers, conference planning, programs and assorted artifacts. With the addition of these new materials, especially Coral’s report, the co-historians reevaluated how they were organizing information and switched to Coral’s system, which involved reporting by calendar year. Meeting one afternoon a week, it took the historians about eight months to process the new material and have it organized by year. The documents organized by year fill three large storage tubs. The new material more than doubled the amount of content covered by Coral’s report. After all of this, it was decided that reporting by fiscal year (which follows the academic calendar) made more sense.

Following this introduction to our CCAEYC history is a collection of fiscal year summary reports presented by decade. The reports are organized with the following categories: Local Level, State Level, Regional Level, and National Level. At this time, summary reports are available from the 1920s through 1993. As the historians compile more years, the summaries will be added to these pages.