RLCF Children’s Center to join nationwide “Week of the Young Child” celebration

INA, Ill. (March 26, 2014) – Early next month, the Rend Lake College Foundation Children’s Center (RLCFCC) will amp up the focus on early childhood literacy during the “Week of the Young Child.” Throughout the week of April 7 – 11, activities, food, and much more will center on the theme of children’s literature and authors.

The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world’s largest early childhood education association. The purpose of the celebration is to bring public attention to the needs of young children and their families through early childhood programs and services, such as the RLCFCC.

RLCFCC Director Brooke May said this year, the children and teachers will learn about a new children’s book and author each day during the week to go along with the theme.

“We’re focusing on a different children’s book author each day chosen by the RLCFCC classroom teachers based off of the children’s interest. We will have special activities and a guest reader to focus on each new book author,” said May.

gardenplantingrlcfccwKaidance Moulton, 4, of Ina, planted seeds along a fence at a past Rend Lake College Foundation Children's Center "Week of the Young Child" celebration. The event was planned by the RLCFCC by teaming up with Earth Week activities on campus. The children learned about the environment by planting a garden, helping design rain barrels and more. Click on the image for a larger view.

The RLCFCC has participated in the Week of the Young Child every year since they were accredited 12 years ago.

“We participate in this event annually to help raise awareness about why quality child care is so important,” said May. “NAEYC is an association that focuses on high quality child care and what they represent is so essential. We have been accredited with NAEYC since 2002 and we work very hard to maintain NAEYC’s high standards. This week-long celebration will revolve around the children and we’re going to have a lot of fun.”

Practicum Director Sue Greer said the first day of the week, April 7, will focus on author Eric Carle and a number of his books, including “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” “Pancakes, Pancakes!,” and “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

On April 8, the Children’s Center teachers will read a number of Dr. Seuss books and will do some foot painting with the children. Eric Litwin will be the themed author on April 9. Litwin is the author of four “Pete the Cat” picture books.

“‘Pete the Cat’ is all the rage right now. Everybody loves him and the kids really like to read these books,” said May.

rainbarrelrlcfccwRend Lake College Art Professor Therese Melena received help decorating a rain barrel from 3-year-old Cassie Braun of Pinckneyville during a previous "Week of the Young Child" activity at the RLC Foundation Children's Center. This year, events will include painting, guest speakers, and outdoor activities. Click on the image for a larger view.

On April 10, the children will read work by David Shannon, including “David Smells,” “No David!,” and others. During the last day of the week, April 11, the children will read “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” by Charles Shaw. Greer said there will be an end-of-the-week party, including a guest reader, cloud watching, painting clouds, and a special cake for the celebration. 

“The children are all interested in these authors. They’re very popular right now,” said Greer. “We’re focusing on children’s literacy and the fact that it is important to give your child a book and push literacy, no matter what their age.”

On Friday, the children will each receive a copy of either “The Napping House” or “The Big, Red Barn” to take home. Other events include a book drive and a parent breakfast.

“We want everyone to be a part of this week-long adventure,” May added.

The RLCFCC will soon be enrolling children in summer care, starting May 19. Pre-kindergarten screenings can also be done the week of May 19-23. To enroll or schedule a screening, contact the RLCF Children’s Center at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1393. Visit online at www.facebook.com/RLCFCC.

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