North Loses a UBC Ally

Early childhood development expert introduced groundbreaking educational tools to the Terrace

Brenda Sissons

Coordinator, Success By 6 Northwest

Dear Sir,

The field of early childhood development lost an invaluable friend and ally with the death of UBC professor Clyde Hertzman last week.

Although he called BC home, Clyde’s influence in the field of early childhood development went far beyond provincial and even Canadian borders.

The list of his attributes, affiliations and accomplishments is long and public accolades have been steadily mounting as the many touched by his work struggle with the shock of his untimely death.

Clyde’s death is a huge loss for us too. We in the northwest know him best for his work on the Early Development Instrument (EDI) at UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP).

Clyde visited Terrace and neighbouring communities  several times over the past 12 years. He came first to introduce the EDI, the province-wide tool that measures kindergarten children’s readiness for school,  and then to help us interpret our results in the bigger regional and provincial picture and plan together to create healthy and supportive communities for young children and their families.

Clyde Hertzman has been hailed as Canada’s greatest advocate for children, a trailblazer in developing the business case for investing in young children, and a champion for the field of early childhood development. But he’s been much more. He felt like a friend, too.

Clyde touched so many with his dynamic personality, intense commitment and professional integrity, that it is hard to accept that his energy is no longer with us. I know it’s not lost because Clyde leaves behind a skilled and dedicated team at HELP, but his death certainly feels like a huge void now.