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Celebrate 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 care givers who help children make the most of the opportunities during their early years.

Would you please join us as we celebrate the Week of the Young Child and 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 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Our Savior Lutheran Gymnasium will be the kickoff of WOYC. This is a free event for children to participate in, with lots of fun “hands-on” activities. There will be a car seat safety check and maybe even a big fire truck or two to climb in. Kiwanis will be serving a free hot dog, cookie and drink lunch. Call Anette McInnis at 731-3512 if you’d like to set up a booth.

Monday, April 23, 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 children and 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 will 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 24, is the famous 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 Pagosa Springs Center for the Performing Arts from 6 to 8 p.m. This year’s event will host piano players, and a sword dance with music and ballet dancers, just to name a few of the acts. Come join us as we support and honor our local youth. For more information or to sign up, call Lynne Bridges at Seeds of Learning, 264-5513.

There will be a Thank You/Appreciation Night at Our Savior Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall for all Archuleta County early care and education professionals and support staff on Wednesday, April 25, at 6 p.m. Please join us for an evening of gratitude and fun. The evening will include testimonials, an opportunity to express gratitude to those who make a difference in our future’s most prized possession — our children — as well as a few surprises. Please R.S.V.P. to Lynne Bridges at seedsoflearning@centurytel.net or call 264-5513 with questions. Light appetizers and dessert will be served. This is an adult-only event, no children please.

An immunization clinic sponsored by the La Plata Electric Round Up Foundation will be offered at San Juan Basin Health, Wednesday, April 25, from 9 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 to schedule an appointment. San Juan Basin Health Department will offer this service as part of the Week of the Young Child celebration, but want the general public to know that free to low cost immunizations are available to qualifying children every week at SJBHD. Please visit them (located downtown at 502 S. 8th St.) either for the Week of the Young Child Immunization Clinic or call any other time to schedule immunizations for your child.

On Friday, April 27, the Ruby Sisson Memorial Library with host an Early Literacy Open House from 9 a.m. to noon. Young children and their families are invited to attend, enjoy some cookies and participate in new early literacy activities.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children has a vision for excellence. All states must develop a system of early childhood care and education with appropriate regulatory, governance, finance and accountability mechanisms so that all children have access to a safe and accessible, high quality early childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum, knowledgeable and well-trained program staff and educators, comprehensive services that support their health, nutrition, and social well-being, in an environment that respects and supports diversity.

All early childhood professionals are supported as professionals with a career ladder, ongoing professional development opportunities, and compensation that will attract and retain high quality educators.

All families have access to early care and education programs that are affordable and of high quality, and are participants in the education and well-being of their children through family involvement in programs and schools, as well as opportunities to increase their educational attainment.

All communities are accountable for the quality of early childhood programs provided to all children, backed by the local, state, and federal funding needed to deliver quality programs and services.

Making this vision of excellence a reality will require a commitment from, and a partnership among, the federal, state and local governments, business and labor, private institutions, and the public. We must join forces to advocate and implement the policies at the appropriate federal, state, and local levels that will lead to excellence in early childhood education programs.

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 and support groups, is dedicated to improving and continuing high quality early care and education in Archuleta County.

If you are interested in joining the ACT Council in a Vision for Excellence for the children and families of Archuleta County, contact Lynne Bridges at 264-5513.

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