NEW ORLEANS — The LAECA presented its “Friend of Children” award to Dr. Libbie Sonnier, the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children executive director, on Nov. 4 at a conference in Alexandria, La.
LAECA, a nonprofit organization for teachers, parents, caregivers, and early care professionals, is dedicated to improving the lives of Louisiana’s children from birth to eight years of age. The Friend of Children Award is selected by the LAECA board of directors and given to someone who champions Louisiana’s youngest learners and their families statewide.
“Through her leadership at LPIC, her work with the Early Literacy Commission and her contributions to the new Louisiana Birth to Five Standards, Libbie Sonnier drives everyone to believe that a successful Louisiana starts with successful children,” said LAECA President Dr. Debra Jo Hailey.
Inspired by her nephew, Zane, born with special needs, Sonnier began her career as an early interventionist working with families who had very young children with developmental disabilities. Since then, she has acquired leadership positions across multiple agencies throughout the South, working in director’s roles for the Mississippi State Department of Health, the Louisiana Department of Education and the Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Before her appointment as executive director of LPIC, she was the acting president and CEO/vice president of programs of the Louisiana Children’s Research Center for Development and Learning.