‘Month of The Young Child’ to be Celebrated in April

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

March 23, 2006 – The Southeast Missouri State University Child Enrichment Center, Educare and Child Care Resource and Referral, along with the community, will celebrate the “Month of the Young Child” during April.

A number of activities are planned, including “Messy Morning” on April 1, kindergarten screenings April 3-6, a presentation for child care providers and Family Day at the University’s Student Recreation Center, both on April 22, and a family bowling night on April 28.

The “Month of the Young Child” is designed to recognize the needs of young children and thank educators and others involved in the education and care of young children. The Month of the Young Child is celebrated across the country by hundreds of local organizations working to improve opportunities for all young children.

“Early learning experiences are crucial to the growth and development of young children,” said Amy Blackman, director of the Southeast Missouri State University Child Enrichment Center. “Week of the Young Child provides opportunities for all of us to recognize the importance of the early years, and to work together to build better futures for all children.”

“Messy Morning” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at the Osage Community Center, 1625 N. Kingshighway. This activity is designed for families with young children and will celebrate the enthusiasm, creativity and energy of young children. Organizations will have booths set up, offering hands-on activities for children, including  the hokey pokey, bean bag toss, shaving cream finger painting, manipulatives, arts and crafts, and more.

During the week of April 3-6, the Cape Girardeau Parents as Teachers program and Educare will conduct kindergarten screenings. The screenings will be held at the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Administrative Office, 301 N. Clark Street. Screenings will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 3 and 5, and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 4 and 6. To register for a screening or for more information, call (573) 651-3703.

On April 22, Judy Harris Helm, a child development expert, will speak to child care providers on documentation. The event will be held in Dempster Hall at Southeast Missouri State University. For more information on this event, call the Child Care Resource and Referral Office at (573) 290-5644.

Also on April 22, a free Family Day will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center at Southeast Missouri State.

The University’s Child Enrichment Center is sponsoring a discount bowling night for families at West Park Lanes, beginning at 5 p.m. on April 28.

During the Month of the Young Child, the University Child Enrichment Center is recommending ways to show that high-quality early education is the right choice for children:

• Volunteer your time to work with children and teachers at a school, community center, Head Start or child care program;  • Support policies and programs that help improve professional opportunities and compensation for teachers and staff;  • Thank early childhood educators and others who play a vital role in preparing young children to succeed in school and beyond.

The University Child Enrichment Center, Educare and Child Care Resource and Referral has early childhood professionals working together to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education, and to build public support for high-quality early childhood education programs.

For more information on Month of the Young Child, contact Amy Blackman, Child Enrichment Center, at (573) 290-5135 or e-mail ablackman@semo.edu.