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‘Early Years are Learning Years,’ Week of the Young Child

Week of the Young Child honors the more than 35 million children from birth through age 8 in America, as well as the families, teachers and other caregivers who help children make the most of the opportunities during their early years.

During the Week of the Young Child, join in the celebration and help our community support all young children.

Your business can support our community’s children and early childhood education in the following ways:

• Thank early care and education teachers and others who work to make a difference for children

• Organize a volunteer event for employees to work with local children in our community (school, preschools, field trips, etc.)

• Educate yourself and others about issues affecting young children and their families

• Recognize the needs of families (especially low income) and adopt family-friendly policies

Research shows that high-quality early childhood programs help children, especially those from families with low incomes, develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Early care and education is vital to all communities, for families as well as economic development. The majority of mothers with children under the age of 12 work, and working families rely on child care providers to help them care for their children while they work.

Local celebrations of the Week of the Young Child build support for programs and policies that are vital to young children of Archuleta County. This year’s Week of the Young Child is being sponsored by Kiwanis. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time. Kiwanis is always looking for dedicated members to be on their team. They meet every Thursday at the Pagosa Mountain Hospital Cafe from noon to 1 p.m. Join them for lunch and find out more about Kiwanis! Help them help kids!

The following are activities for the Week of the Young Child in Archuleta County.

• Monday, April 26, is Doll Day. Every year, the Colorado Children’s Campaign works very hard to ensure the voice of all children is heard by community and government leaders throughout Colorado. The cardboard dolls are made by volunteers to represent children who are being appropriately served and those who are not receiving the health, education, safety and nurturing they need to thrive. The completed dolls are to be placed in prominent places throughout the community. The intent is to influence community and business leaders, politicians and the public at large to invest in our children in the form of community-based, long-term prevention strategies and programs for children and their families. If you would like to request a doll for your child or business, contact Rose Salas at Pagosa Early Childhood Head Start, 264-2484.

• Tuesday, April 27, is the renowned Night of the Young Child. Night of the Young Child is a wonderful opportunity to support and honor our children and their many talents. This event will be held at the Pagosa Springs High School auditorium from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s event will host piano players, Panamanian dancers and ballet dancers, just to name a few. Join us as we support and honor our local youth. For more information, call Lynne Bridges at Seeds of Learning, 264-5513. Tuesday is also Support Our Troops Day!. Everyone wears red, white and blue!

• An immunization clinic will be offered at San Juan Basin Health Wednesday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. This clinic is free and is for the uninsured, underinsured and families with high deductible co-pay insurance. No appointment is necessary.

• Thursday, April 29, is storytelling time at the Ruby Sisson Library from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 30th is Matinee Day at Liberty Theater. The matinee will start at 2 p.m. Your ticket, a small popcorn and small drink are only $5. Come watch “The Princess and the Frog.”

• The Kid’s Fair on Saturday, May 1, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Pagosa Springs Elementary School will be the grand finale of WOYC. This is a free event for children to participate in, with lots of fun “hands-on” activities. There will also be a car seat safety check, the bounce house, and the “big” fire truck to climb in. Kiwanis will serve a free hot dog, chips and drink lunch. The “all you can read” Book Fair Diner, hosted by the elementary school, will also be open so you can purchase lots of fun books. Call Annette McInnis at 731-3512 if you’d like to set up a booth.

Week of the Young Child is brought to you by the Archuleta Children’s Team (ACT) Council.

The Archuleta Children’s Team (ACT) council, a coalition of licensed early care and education providers, is dedicated to improving and continuing high quality early care and education in Archuleta County. Along with providing high-quality care for children, they have worked many volunteer hours to make sure Week of the Young Child honors children. Take a moment and thank your licensed childcare provider for their dedication as well as their commitment to you and your family.

For more information on any of the events, call Lynne Bridges at 264-5513.