The aRPy Ambassador Initiative represents a unique partnership between the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) of the Council for Exceptional Children and the Region B Parent Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at Parent to Parent of Georgia. The partners contributed to the processes of selecting, preparing, and supporting professionals from across the country who act as aRPy Ambassadors.

Through a cooperative agreement with the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education, the ECTA Center developed a suite of free resources and videos – starring the animated spokesperson 'aRPy' for whom the project is named – to help practitioners and families apply these recommended practices to developmental interventions in everyday routines and settings involving children and families.

The ambassadors form an international cohort with knowledge of evidence-based practices, professional development and training, and their state's early childhood services and practitioner networks. Not only will ambassadors collaborate with one another to develop and share strategies and resources, but each will develop and implement goals aimed at improving outcomes for young children and their families.

Adriana Fontaine serves as Connecticut’s “ambassador" to spearhead use of the DEC Recommended Practices for the care and education of young children with disabilities. Adriana, serving at the Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center, is among 22 newly selected aPRy Ambassadors chosen to bring awareness and support to the dissemination and use of the DEC Recommended Practices (RPs) and the associated resources and tools. Ambassadors now reside in 24 states.

Adriana says, “It’s an honor to be part of this unique partnership as an ambassador. I am committed to disseminating effective practices and enhancing partnerships that benefit families of young children with developmental delays. I am dedicated to help monolingual families to overcome language and cultural barriers that exist to access appropriate services and high-quality information. Thanks for this opportunity!”

Adriana Fontaine and her fellow "aRPy Ambassadors" are professionals from organizations, including OSEP funded Parent Training Information Centers, state agencies and universities, who are working on behalf of children with disabilities birth through age 5 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

If you have questions about the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices, or if you want to receive more information about how to use and implement the DEC Recommended Practices in your work with families or if you are interested in receiving training about the Practices. Please contact Adriana Fontaine at [email protected].

Meet The National aRPy Ambassadors