Paula Young Shelton is an Early Childhood Educator with nearly 20 years experience teaching and the author of the children’s book, Child of the Civil Rights Movement. A graduate of Duke University, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1983. She began her teaching career in Gulu, Uganda instructing young teens in English and Religion. This inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College in New York, which she completed in 1987. Since that time, Ms. Shelton has committed herself to enriching the lives of young children through a multicultural, interactive, child-centered approach to education. Whether teaching in a rural village in East Africa, the public housing projects of Atlanta, the elite neighborhoods of New York City or the culturally diverse middle class communities of Washington, DC, Ms. Shelton has held fast to the belief that “every child can learn”.
Throughout her teaching career Ms. Shelton has instituted many innovative ideas, including the formation of a pre-first grade for Kindergarten students not yet ready for first grade. Her own educational experiences at the United Nations International School aided Ms. Shelton in developing a respect and appreciation for all cultures. Her curriculum is designed to reflect the culture and history of the students she teaches in order to build self esteem as well as increase academic success. Currently, Ms. Shelton is a first grade teacher at Georgetown Day School where she enjoys implementing a dynamic curriculum which consists of a civil rights unit, a study of all kinds of families, including same sex parents, and a social curriculum which emphasizes appreciation for diversity and acceptance of all, as well as a challenging academic program. In addition to teaching, Ms. Shelton has served as an early childhood specialist with the National Black Child Development Institute, where she was responsible for developing and promoting early childhood education, child development materials and programs, such as The Parent Empowerment Project, a parent education curriculum, and Love to Read, a national literacy initiative. Ms. Shelton has conducted numerous workshops, presentations and training sessions for parents and practitioners. As an author, Ms. Shelton enjoys sharing her book with students, parents and teachers. Her dramatic reading of the semi-autobiographical account of growing up in the midst of the civil rights movement teaches children about a pivotal time in American history as well as encourages adults to share their stories. Ms. Shelton resides in Washington, DC with her husband, Hilary O. Shelton, who is Director of the Washington Bureau for the NAACP. They have three extraordinary sons, Caleb Wesley, Aaron Joshua and Noah Ottis.