Last week — and part of this week — people across the nation celebrated the Week of the Young Child (WOYC).
This annual celebration was launched by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in 1971.
“The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs,” NAEYC says on its website.
Here’s a roundup of some WOYC events.
In Somerville, Mass., children and teachers from the city’s childcare and preschool programs gathered at City Hall to meet with Mayor Joseph Curtatone.
As the Somerville Times reports, “Students have been researching and developing projects that demonstrate ways to make Somerville a kind and fair place for everyone, in response to a letter from Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone in which he asks for their input on how we can make Somerville ‘…a kind and fair place for everyone.’”
“Children look forward to this event for weeks! When children engage with City Hall and meet the Mayor, they have an experience that impacts who they are as members of a community,” Lisa Kuh, Somerville Public Schools Early Education Director, told the Somerville Times. “By writing to the children, the Mayor engages our youngest community members in a conversation about their place in the world and how to make it better for everyone. By engaging in inquiry-based, interesting curriculum, and thinking deeply with peers and teachers, children discover how learning contributes to society. This is how we build an engaged and inclusive community.”
Boston Basics, a local nonprofit that promotes high-quality interactions between young children and adults, put together a Week of the Young Child toolkit that includes a skill-building activities guide that can be used by people who “facilitate workshops and group sessions for parents and caregivers of infants and toddlers.”
The page also has links to videos that are recorded in English, Haitian Creole, and Spanish.
In Lawrence, Mass., Mayor Dan Rivera issued “a brain-building challenge,” calling for mayors and elected officials across Massachusetts to submit videos of themselves dancing and reading to young children. It’s hard to say, how many “dancers” will heed this call, but we hope a lot of elected “readers” will submit videos.
New Bedford celebrated the Week of the Child with a family fun day that included activities for kids, a puppet band, and a storyteller. Here’s a video from the event:
The Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center — an early childhood demonstration school inside the Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. — has posted a week’s worth of videos and resources that cover a number WOYC topics including:
• eating and preparing food
• arts and crafts, and
Curious to know more? Google #WOYC18 or #WeekoftheYoungChild.
Kudos to our many local partners for celebrating Week of the Young Child and for publicly highlighting the importance of early education and care.
And be sure to mark your calendars. Future WOYC dates will be:
April 15-19, 2019
April 13-17, 2020
April 12-16, 2121