The theme of the Week of the Young Child is “early years are learning years,” and we are celebrating that this week by reading aloud to children throughout Durham.
This morning, Mayor Bill Bell made a guest visit to Another Beautiful Beginnings, a 5-star child care center owned by Dinah Parker, who is on the Partnership’s Board of Directors. The children excitedly gathered around Mayor Bell, who encouraged them to participate by asking questions and making the books come alive.
The enthusiasm from both the children and the Mayor was unmistakable! Mayor Bell said that the children made his day, and it was a wonderful and enriching experience for all involved.
Our own Executive Director Laura Benson also read to young children this morning at Little People Day Care Center in an Early Head Start classroom. “Miss Laura” was a huge hit with the children! Other local leaders are reading in Durham Early Head Start classrooms throughout the week as well.
Durham County Library is also building a love for books amongst our youngest readers by hosting story times at Durham child care centers and encouraging library card registration. So far this week, they’ve visited Little People and Teddy Bear Lane, and they will visit Legacy (Grace Baptist) and Childcare Network #57 later this week.
Karlene Fyffe Phillips, Youth Services Administrator at the Library, knows that sharing the joy of reading is beneficial for adults too! As she said: “It was a blast! I found a ‘helper’ who was, without a doubt, ready for success in school and life. He helped me with letters, words, colors, sequence and singing in my Pete the Cat story. I can still hear him asking excitedly, ‘What comes next? What comes next?’”
At the Partnership, we support literacy and encourage early learning through all of our programs, and particularly through the Holiday Book Drive with Barnes & Noble and our Readers as Leaders volunteer initiative. Reading aloud helps children acquire early language skills and is widely recognized as the single most important activity to increase early literacy. Reading aloud also helps children develop positive associations with books and learning, which helps build a stronger foundation for success in school and life.
Week of the Young Child (April 6-12, 2014) is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children 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. A full listing of events is available here.