Troy mayor proclaims ‘week of young child’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 11, 2002

Features Editor

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford joined mayors all across the country, yesterday, in proclaiming the week of April 8 -13 the Week of the Young Child.

Lunsford visited the Troy Head Start Center and presented the proclamation to Octavia Jones, center director, and visited with a group of children who represented all classes at the center.

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"The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration of early childhood and a tribute to all those people in our community who help teach and support young children," Jones said. "It is designed to help each of us make the most of the unique opportunities inherent in the early years."

Jones said

the Week of the Young Child is a good time to make people aware that the early years are "children’s opportunities" and adults’ "responsibilities."

"Some adults devote their lives to young children, and some can give only a few minutes," she said. "But, together we can make a difference."

Childhood is a time of enormous opportunities – a time when children grow, learn, strive, dream and build the foundations for their futures.

"Every moment of a young child’s life is a chance to learn more about the world, to develop social skills and to gain critical knowledge and abilities,"

Jones said. "Those early experiences lay the groundwork for all later learning and help children succeed in school and beyond."

Jones said parents, teachers, policy makers, community leaders and concerned adults all share in the responsibility for making sure young children get the most out of those opportunities.

"It’s up to all of us to make the early years count," she said.

The Troy Head Start Center will celebrate the Week of the Young Child with several activities, including guest readers, grandparents’ day and fun day.

"We would like to thank those who have made donations to make this week special for our children" she said. "Garrett’s IGA gave us popsicles. Ingram’s Curb Market donated soft drinks and the mayor brought cookies for the children. We thank them all."

Jones suggested ways that adults can make a difference in a young child’s life and said this week is a great time to start.

"First of all, read with a child or to a child," she said. "Take time to really listen and interact with a child. Volunteer at a school, church, community center or other programs involving children. Talk with public officials about issues affecting young children and speak out for children in the community. It really does take a village to raise a child."

Jones said it is also very important to remember to thank anyone who is making a difference for children – not just this week, but every day of the year.