Open Discussion Forum

Subject: Comprehensive Life Members

Anonymous Member
06-03-2017 06:37 AM   This post was removed

1.  Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-25-2017 05:14 AM
NAEYC has had a membership category for very many years known as Comprehensive Life Membership. Those of us who are still in that category have been in the field and in NAEYC for VERY many years.  Our membership category includes a journal and 4 publications annually.  Some of these publications have become classics on my bookshelf, many used often.  Some which aren't appropriate to my own life have been shared with other colleagues.  None have ever been thrown out.
Lately, NAEYC has been saving money by sending us a coupon good for $20.  It's "wrapped" in the words of giving us more choices.  BUT:
1) There is almost nothing for $20
2) The publication used to just arrive in the mail.  To use the coupon, one must pay the cost of shipping.
3) I've spoken to some other members in this category who find it's too time consuming to try to figure out how to use the coupon, so we don't use it.

I did write the first time around, got no answer, and let it go.  But here we go again, and now we have this neat forum to share our feelings with each other.

Colleagues, what do you think of this "benefit"??

Ellen Jaffe Cogan,  MS Ed (ECE)
NAEYC Comprehensive Life Member,
ECE Consultant
EHS/CC Implementation Planner
Member, NYS Master Cadre of Pyramid Model Trainers
NYS Certified EC Trainer, Level III

Ellen Cogan
Hilltop Early Childhood Services
Rego Park NY

2.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-26-2017 04:10 AM
As a comprehensive life member I completely agree.  It is unfair to change the deal!  Back when naeyc was fledgling and needed an infusion of cash we came forward with a significant amount for the times.  It was a struggle for some but considered a wise investment.  Many have served the organization well.  They need to honor their commitment....we are retiring and dying off anyway.

Patricia Meritt
Fairbanks AK

3.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 06-19-2017 06:22 AM
Dear colleagues -

Thank you Patricia M. for putting into words what a number of us have been thinking.

I have been a Comprehensive Life Member of NAEYC since Dr. Evangeline Ward [my doctoral advisor] told us about it [which is a *very* long time]. As other writers on this thread have stated, we assisted NAEYC in a time of need, and a promise was made which was kept until very recently. In my opinion, it behooves the current NAEYC administration to continue to keep that original promise [including sending us all comprehensive membership books, until, as another colleague has stated, we are no longer here (or able to receive the benefits in our "contract" with NAEYC).] It is the ethical thing for this professional organization to do.

Dr. Blythe Hinitz
Distinguished Professor EECE
The College of New Jersey
Exchange Exceptional Master Leader

4.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-26-2017 09:21 AM
I agree.  It looks like NAEYC is not living up fully to the promise it made when we invested in Comprehensive Life Memberships.

John Surr
Charlottesville, VA

5.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-27-2017 06:56 PM
Hello all,

I'm sorry to find such disappointing thread.  I've been a Comprehensive Life Member for nearly thirty years.  When I made this commitment and had the opportunity to know a number of our national leaders, it never occurred to me in the slightest that a change such as this would be made in what I took as a promise and a guarantee.  Hasn't the organization benefited enough from our often non-developmental corporate sponsors with the prominent brand displays in our conferences, etc., to send me the books I was promised?  What proportion of the annual budget is supposedly saved by dissing life members?  Is there something the knowing of which would make me applaud this move?  That would be a welcome relief.


Barry Albert Bussewitz
Adjunct Professor in Child & Family Studies (Human Development & Early Childhood Education)
Solano Community College
Fairfield & Vallejo, California
please contact me at my home/office:
315 Sixth Street 
Petaluma, California 94952

6.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-29-2017 11:40 AM
I am not happy with this change. I enjoyed receiving the books. I may not renew my comprehensive next year if I am not getting what was promised with my dues. Please uphold your commitment to the comprehensive members

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7.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-26-2017 09:50 AM
I was initially excited by the change to the $20 coupon, allowing me to purchase something that completely meets my needs at the moment.  However, when I went to redeem the coupon, I never received what I purchased.  A follow up email was also ignored, and eventually I dropped the issue.  So, it has felt to me like a reduction in benefits for that reason.  Has anyone been able to successfully redeem the coupon?

Laura Simkin
Membership Director
Wisconsin Early Childhood Association
Madison, Wisconsin

8.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-26-2017 10:11 AM
I've had the same frustration... went online, tried to apply the coupon, and could not get it to work.
Left the tab open on my browser for several days intending to try again or call for some assistance... but got busy & accidentally closed all the tabs on my browser, so then I just abandoned the process & never "cashed in" my coupon.
I'm sure they probably got complaints from people that certain publications selected maybe were not of interest to the member & they would rather choose for themselves, hence another reason for the switch to the coupon solution... but I personally liked it much better when a surprise would just show up in my mailbox... and it often caused me to read something on a topic that I might not have selected on my own, but I've always benefited from being exposed to something outside of the topics toward which I typically gravitate.

I wonder if that could be an option that you select when you renew...

Comprehensive with x number of publications annually or
Comprehensive with one less publication + a coupon?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this topic.
It will be interesting to see what other Comprehensive Members have to say.

Deborah Musika

9.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-26-2017 01:32 PM
Working at a center with a low turnover of  lead teachers each having a comprehensive membership it was nice last year choosing the materials that were most meaningful to each individual teacher. We are able to share a multitude of resources that way. When we are all receiving the same materials it creates many duplicates and therefore limiting  potential resources.
The largest drawback to this new option is paying shipping on the chosen item. If there was a way to avoid the shipping I think the coupon would be the best of both worlds.


Laura Richardson
Jefferson College CDC
Hillsboro MO

10.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-27-2017 11:05 AM
I have been a comprehensive member for many years - although I am not a life member. I have enjoyed the opportunity to get a variety of books through my membership. Since I am Canadian, many if not most books are not readily available here and there is the complication of customs issues. I was not happy with the introduction of the $20 coupon last year, although I did find a book, telephoned my order and received it without charge - including shipping (the book may have cost less than $20 - cannot remember at this point). I found the book useful and was pleased to have it. I have searched this year and am having difficulty finding a title that is relevant to my interests (especially for $20 or less) and now that the issue of shipping costs has been raised in this exchange, I may also pass on making a selection. I agree with the suggestion that people be able to choose whether they prefer coupon/book. In my case, I would choose "book." I also find it difficult to select without knowing what the other four books will be. On the other hand, since most books deal with classroom issues, many don't easily apply to my work as a consultant and I may not continue as a comprehensive member in future - something to be decided later. I appreciate that In introducing this new feature, NAEYC is attempting to meet the needs of its members but, for me, it adds an unwelcome complication to my membership.

Judith Colbert
Judith A. Colbert
Guelph ON

11.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-30-2017 09:11 AM
I would rather receive the books as in the past. I attempted to use the coupon on line but was not able to use it and get the sale price of the book. So I called and she said I could not us the coupon and the sale price. I complained briefly and asked to speak to someone in charge. She put me on hold and when she came back I was able to use the coupon and the sale price so I was able to get the book and shipping for a bit over $20.00. The process was to complicated and would prefer they send me the books they choose in the future!

Diane Hendrick
Latrobe PA

12.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-30-2017 03:55 AM
Why bother renewing a comprehensive membership when we don't get the perk we had loved?

Patricia Jack
Boulder City NV

13.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-30-2017 10:07 AM
Hi Patricia,

I am going to assume that your question was not merely rhetorical and, since I just renewed my comprehensive membership yesterday, I thought I'd say why.

I did so because demonstrating that level of commitment to the NAEYC is important to me. For decades the NAEYC has set the bar in early childhood, and in the last few years it has energized the field, its affiliates, and its membership with bold new leadership, a vibrant, challenging strategic plan, and public engagement across the country. At a time of flailing support to young children and education, I want to demonstrate a strong commitment to the values I hold, the association reflects, and our country needs.

Sure, I also appreciate the benefit of saving on my chosen set of publications -- and I'm planning to use my $20 coupon toward "Making and Tinkering," which I can't wait to read! But, as someone who can afford the very slight additional cost over a regular membership (not all folks can, of course), I consider comprehensive membership primarily to be an affirmation of the mission of NAEYC, which is more important to me than any particular benefit.

So that's why I renewed. Anyone else do the same?


Chris Amirault
Affiliate Advisory Council
Mérida, Yucatán, México

14.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-30-2017 06:09 PM

Thank you all for the thoughtful feedback and honest, candid responses on this thread. As a comprehensive member myself but also as the Deputy Executive Director for Membership Engagement at NAEYC, I sincerely appreciate your perspectives.

I will share that the issue of "member choice" has been one we've long grappled with in terms of how to better offer it up. Through various surveys, focus groups and conversations with members who decided not to rejoin, we know with certainty that members today have a certain expectation about benefits being tailored to meet specific needs and choices being offered regarding benefit packages. For this reason, we decided to try implementing this new benefit (which was first introduced last year).

I absolutely appreciate the various viewpoints about why this new offering may be less desirable and we will consider how we can improve the opportunity next year. NAEYC does all that we can to keep resources accessible and affordable, and with member pricing a great portion of our publications would be fully covered with the $20 voucher, but it is correct that it does not cover the shipping and handling fees. With all things, we will continue to strive to improve this benefit, just as we hope to improve the overall value of membership every year.

We want to ensure that all our members are receiving the benefits that meet their needs and expectations at each membership level, and so I also encourage anyone having difficulty in using the coupon to call our customer care center at 202-232-8777, option 5, so that you may take full advantage of the benefit.

Thanks again to each of you for your comments - I am so excited to see so much engagement in Hello!


Stephanie Morris
Deputy Executive Director, Membership Engagement

15.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-31-2017 08:42 AM

I love your comments about your membership dues demonstrating your commitment to NAEYC - our professional association. I've been reading Simon Sinek's book, Start with WHY (he also has a couple of great TedTalks). His basic message is that people don't buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. The intro says, "Those who are able to inspire give people a sense of purpose or belonging that has little to do with any external inventive or benefit to be gained...Those who are able to inspire will create a following of people...who act for the good of the whole not because they have to, but because they want to.

I've also been reading Membership Essentials. The research findings point out that "people are nearly evenly split on how much they value individual benefits and how much they value the work an association does for the common good of the industry, profession, or cause. ...In a successful association, members will feel that the total membership experience cannot be distilled down to a "dues for benefits" transaction. They will feel as though they are contributing to something greater than themselves and yet also receiving something in return." Tangible benefits are important, but they aren't the only motivating factor for members to join or renew.

It's easier for me to list the tangible benefits NAEYC offers, but I think I need to challenge myself to work harder to identify and share with others the greater purpose of belonging to NAEYC - the difference it is making in the lives of children, families and professionals. If NAEYC is going to achieve it's "great purpose" we need to communicate a compelling reason to belong and I don't think tangible benefits alone will achieve this.

Kimberly Tice
Mount Gilead OH

16.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

Posted 05-31-2017 11:24 AM
When I was at Wheelock College, my professor emphasized the importance of being part of a professional organization, specifically NAEYC.  As we were getting ready for graduation, she mentioned it was the last year to get the lifetime membership.  I have made many career choices over the years and one of the most valuable was joining NAEYC that year, as a lifetime member.

Without this membership and the resources it provides I wouldn't be where I am today.   I have used the NAEYC resources for my own professional growth, Professional Development I deliver, college courses I teach, and supporting staff at programs.  Along with the books and publications, we now have access to the Entertainment book, so now my whole family is benefiting from my membership with NAEYC.  Yes, this membership has provided me with books and publications throughout the years, but the value doesn't end there.

NAEYC membership is so much more than these tangible resources.  It is a connection to individuals throughout the field that share a common value for Early Childhood Education.  It is an avenue to learn about advocacy to support our field and ultimately the children and families we serve.  It is an organization that supports the field by providing space for educators to come together and have honest and transparent conversations.  These connections have supported my professional growth more than any publication can.  I am now able to bring these lessons and connections back to the program I work in to support their professional growth.

I joined NAEYC as a lifetime member because my professor, whom I had great admiration for, told me I should.  I continue to support NAEYC because the value of this organization extends beyond what I could have dreamed.

I do want to quickly address my opinion regarding the $20 gc vs a book being mailed.  At first I was disappointed that I would need to pay shipping and pay a little more for a book, but then I realized I could purchase a book that would benefit my program as a whole, including my own personal growth.  I would be able to look for books on leadership or advocacy, which is more relevant to my current position, instead of books geared towards the classroom.   As much as I would like to not have to pay shipping and handling, I know within three years of my lifetime membership the books and publications paid for the price of the membership.  NAEYC is working hard on improving the member benefits and through the years we have received even more than what we signed up for many years ago.  I feel thankful to be able to be part of this amazing organization and to benefit from what NAEYC provides that they didn't provide when I first signed up for this membership.

Heather Webster
Executive Director
Brown/Fox Point Early Childhood Education Center
Providence, RI

Rhode Island Association of the Education of Young Children


17.  RE: Comprehensive Life Members

This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
Posted 06-03-2017 06:37 AM
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