NORWICH — Several community events are planned to celebrate the Week of the Young Child (WOYC), which takes place from April 2 to April 8. The annual celebration is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and is meant to recognize and support early childhood education.
The WOYC was also recognized through a proclamation given by City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver during the March 15 common council meeting.
"The Place, Family Enrichment Network, Guernsey Memorial Library, Catskill Regional
Teacher Center, NYAEYC, Oneonta World of Learning, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Cobleskill, I. N. N. and local early childhood educators in our schools, in conjunction with the National Association for the
Education of Young Children, are celebrating the Week of the Young Child April 2 to 8, 2022," read Doliver.
"These community organizations are working to improve early learning opportunities, which are crucial to the growth and development of young children, and to building better futures for children in Norwich and in all our surrounding communities."
During the designated week, residents will have the opportunity to celebrate at in-person events. The Week of the Young Child will kick off with the return of One Community, One Book, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.
Area children can attend a reading of "If You Give a Moose a Muffin" by Laura Joffe Numeroff at the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich, then participate in a scavenger hunt.
"This event will take place at Guernsey Library, the readings, and then we’ll have some different organizations providing craft activities for children as well, and then families will have the opportunity to visit some downtown businesses, mostly located on South Broad Street, to participate in the scavenger hunt," said The Place Executive Director and WOYC Event Co-organizer Sharon Vesely. “We’ll also be displaying children’s artwork in Sherburne, Norwich, and also in Greene. So that’ll be on display all week. We’ll also have a virtual gallery on our Facebook page as well.“
Throughout the week, resources will be provided on the Chenango County Young Children & Families Facebook page for families to participate in themed days. The WOYC themes include Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday, Work Together Wednesday, Artsy Thursday, and Family Friday.
"So we have themed days. We’re really ramping up for the live event this year, only because everyone wants to be around people it seems," said Vesely. "This year we’ll be having some videos for children to take a look at on our Facebook page. Some different cooking activities that children can do with their families, we’re hoping to get some agricultural videos on there as well that would interest children, and some videos from Rogers Educational Center."
While these educational videos are related to the Week of the Young Child, the Chenango County Young Children & Families page also provides valuable resources and references throughout the year for area families.
"When something is going on in the community we do share a lot of information on that Facebook page," she added. "So I would encourage families and community members just to really either click to follow or 'Like' that Facebook page, because that will be the source of a lot of information of events going on."
Toward the end of the week, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on April 7, a round table discussion with area leaders in early childhood education will also be open to the public via Zoom.
"The other event that we are planning, that’s going to be a collaboration between some Otsego County organizations. So we’ll be collaborating with Catskills Regional Teachers Center, Oneonta [World] of Learning, SUNY Oneonta, and SUNY Cobleskill, to offer a virtual round table discussion on the importance of play," Vesely explained. "It’s a free event but registration is required ... the New York Association for the Education of Young Children is also helping to make that happen."
Registration is available at tinyurl.com/CRTCplay. The event will be moderated by retired SUNY Morrisville Associate Professor Margaret Hoose, and panelists will include SUNY Oneonta Assistant Professor Dr. Ann Fradkin-Hayslip, SUNY Cobleskill Associate Professor Suzanne Fine, and Occupational Therapist Penelope Cypress, and representatives from Family Enrichment Network.
After the Week of the Young Child winds down, Vesely said some other things are in the works for the following months. Keep an eye on the Chenango County Young Children & Families Facebook page for updates on WOYC events, local resources, and upcoming events and activities.
For more information on One Community, One Book or the round table discussion, contact The Place at 607-336-9696, ext. 103.