Every day is a celebration of the young child at The Child Center of NY, but during the annual Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, our Head Start programs participate in a national observance to spotlight the needs of young children and their families — and how early childhood programs meet them. It’s a fun-filled week with a different daily theme and activities that children engage in with teachers, families, and community members.
Our Head Start/EarlyLearn in Woodside (ELW) made the most of the observance, inviting everyone from parents to investment bankers to join in the fun and meaning of the week.
On Tuesday, for example,the children were pleased to see Mr. Chris from Mr. Chris’ Musical Experience of Jamaica, who engaged the children with interactive educational theatre featuring song, dance, hip-hop, stories, exercises, and team-building games.
On Work Together Wednesday, volunteer readers from City National Rochdale visited the center to read such books as The Ginger Bread Boy and worked together with the students to create art projects based on what they read. Both children and adults had a fun and rewarding day. The adults enjoyed the opportunity to instill a love of reading in the community’s children, and the students had an out-of-the-ordinary day in which they experienced a connection with community members through reading. Three-year-old Amy shared a really special connection with City National Rochdale client and Child Center supporter Amy Rappaport when she discovered they shared a first name. “I know the letter A is for Amy,” the 3-year-old said, and wrote the letters of the alphabet for the other Amy to see.
The week culminated with Family Friday, as parents and other caregivers joined the children and teachers in a community parade. “ELW children brought smiles to all as they proudly wore hats they made in our annual parade down neighborhood streets,” reports Debra Arkin, Assistant Program Director of ELW.
“The Week of the Young Child creates an opportunity for us to stop and celebrate children enjoying the simplicity of being a child while learning at the same time,” adds Vice President of Early Childhood Education Tanya Krien. “Such a celebration reminds us about the importance to invest in the future of our children to maximize their future well-being and success.”