During the past four decades, Terry was Maryland Family Network's strongest advocate, most caring steward, and greatest visionary. Terry's unwavering commitment to very young children and her keen understanding of the complexity of the issues surrounding child care have served as cornerstones for the development of MCC as the premier child care advocacy organization in the country.
As president of MCC, Terry shaped the evolution of the child care field both locally and nationally. As far back as 1965, her vision was clearly articulated: 1) We must train all child care workers to do a better job; 2) Babies brains grow the most during the first years of life and therefore we must teach parents about the importance of early childhood education; 3) We must increase the supply of child care and early education programs; and 4) We mustconvince policy makers that child care is important. As Terry herself said at a 1970 White House Conference on Children, "It is much cheaper to provide a solid foundation for society today than to apply a series of Band-Aids which will only heal social wounds tomorrow."
Throughout her life, Terry exhibited a commitment to a standard of excellence, particulary as it related to advocacy on behalf of our nation's children. She provided leadership to a number of child advocacy organizations beyond MCC, including the Day Care and Child Development Council of America, the National Conference of Organizations for Children and Youth, the National Family Resource Coalition, and Friends of the Family. She was recognized for being a catalyst of social change by, among others, the American Jewish Committee and the National Council of Jewish Women.
In 1977, MCC established the Therese Weil
Lansburgh Award to honor those who demonstrate an exceptional
commitment to children and their families. As it says
on the award: "The myth is that we are a child loving society.
The reality is that there are few among us who have the clarity
of vision and the strength of purpose to identify the needs
of children and to lead the fight to meet those needs.
Therese Weil Lansburgh stands as a signal to those of us who
share concern for the well being of the children of this nation.
She has demonstrated what one individual can do to educate
a city, state and a nation about our obligations to our future."
My heartfelt thanks to Terry for being
such a good friend and mentor to me and for her wonderful
work. She improved the lives of hundreds of thousands
of children with her amazing vision, skill, hard work, and
Sandra J. Skolnik