Glendon P. Nimnicht, Ed.D., dedicated more than 39 years of his life to improving the quality of life of children and families living in poverty in the United States, Latin America and other Third World countries. During his career as an educational administrator, Nimnicht became aware of the importance of early childhood education, especially for children raised in poverty. In 1963, he opened the New Nursery School in Greeley, Colo., an innovative program for Mexican-American children from ages 3 to 6 and their parents.
Nimnicht and his wife, Dr. Marta Arango de Nimnicht, began searching for avenues to increase awareness surrounding the issue of child development. They decided on Marta’s home country of Colombia, which became the site of CINDE. CINDE, the International Center for Education and Human Development, has trained thousands of specialists and field workers in early childhood development. These individuals now serve families throughout Colombia and other surrounding countries. While managing CINDE, Nimnicht created PROMESA, an integrated community development project focused on improving child development through positive changes in the child’s physical and social environments.
After receiving the prize money from World of Children, Nimnicht and his wife were able to implement a program called Colombians Helping Colombians. This program is based on the premise that people do not need to wait for government intervention to solve their problems. Local, illiterate mothers are trained to educate their preschool children, improving their self-concept as mothers and encouraging them to keep their children in school longer. In turn, these mothers train other parents with preschool-aged children.
Glendon Nimnicht passed away on September 6, 2004. The work Glendon has done to improve issues surrounding child development will forever be remembered in his programs and in the hearts of the children he has helped.
“We especially want to improve the child’s self-image and confidence. We want very much to make the parents feel that they can influence educational decisions for their kids and are competent to do so.” – Glendon Nimnicht