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Early years are learning years

Celebrate Week of the Young Child, April 16-April 22.

Week of the Young Child honors the more than 35 million children from birth through age eight 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 help support your children and early childhood education:

• 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 families with low income, 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 childcare 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. The following are activities for the Week of the Young Child in Archuleta County.

The Kid’s Fair on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Our Savior Lutheran Gymnasium, will be the kickoff of WOYC. This is a free event for children to participate in lots of fun “hands on” activities. There will be a car seat safety check and the “big” fire truck to climb in. Kiwanis will be serving a free hot dog, cookie and drink lunch. Call Annette McInnis at 731-3512 if you’d like to set up a booth. See you there.

Monday, April 18, 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 19, is the infamous 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 Our Savior Lutheran gymnasium from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s event will host piano players, dancers, hoola hoopers and ballet dancers just to name a few. Come and 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 sponsored by the La Plata Electric Round Up Foundation will be offered at San Juan Basin Health, Wednesday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This clinic is free and is for the uninsured, underinsured and families with high deductible co-pay insurance. Call 264-2409, Ext. 213, to schedule an appointment.

There will be an Appreciation Dessert at Our Savior Lutheran Gymnasium for all Archuleta County early care and education professionals and support staff on Wednesday, April 20, 6 p.m. Linda Read, Archuleta County School District assistant superintendent, will be the special guest speaker. Please R.S.V.P. to Lynne Bridges at or call 264-5513 with questions. This is an adult-only event; no children, please. Join us for an evening of gratitude and fun.

Thursday, April 21, will be Pinwheels for Peace day. The spinning of pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country and the world. For more information about how to make them or display them, call Liz Parker at (970) 799-2187.

Friday, April 30, is Matinee day at Liberty Theatre. The matinee will start at 2 p.m. Your ticket, small popcorn and small drink are only $5. Come watch Yogi Bear.

Week of the Young Child is brought to you by the Archuleta’s Children 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, members 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.

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