Betty Garlick Lifetime Achievement Award

The purpose of this award shall be to recognize and honor the life-long commitment of Betty Garlick, the first Michigan AEYC president, to children and families. Betty Garlick was a pioneer in the field of early childhood education. She was a teacher of children, an advocate on behalf of children and families, an author and editor, an environmentalist, a consultant, an innovative programmer and an evaluator. The breadth and depth of these contributions serves as a guide in selecting recipients.

Recipients of this award should have devoted a large part of their lives to working on behalf of Michigan’s children and families. Further, individuals considered for this award shall also have made exceptional contributions to the early childhood profession.

It is expected that nominees for the award will have had a distinguished career in child or family oriented work; they will also have been involved in professional activities beyond their paid position. These may include (but are not limited to): legislation, research, publications, and leadership in professional organizations.

2018 Award Recipient

The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2018 Betty Garlick Lifetime Achievement Award to JaneAnn Benson, Director, Fratzke Early Learning Laboratory, Grand Rapids Community College.

JaneAnn Benson is a life-long learner and a champion and tireless advocate for children, families and the field of early education and care. She has been a preschool teacher, center director, early childhood education instructor and consultant. JaneAnn is dedicated to providing high quality experiences for young children, their families, college students and early childhood professionals. She is a ‘leader of leaders’ who models caring, empathy, respect, and the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships. JaneAnn is an assessor for the NAEYC Higher Education accreditation process, an active member of Michigan AEYC, and has served as her local AEYC affiliate’s president and representative.

Click here submit a nomination

Nominations will be open year round with a deadline of mid-October.  The committee will review all nominations received by the deadline and determine the recipient for the following year.


The deadline to submit nominations for the 2019 Award Recipient is October 22, 2018.