Week Of The Young Child Celebrated

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 9, 2003

The children at OCAP Head Start in Troy welcomed Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford Wednesday with "Hey, Mr. Mayor!" and Lunsford was obviously pleased to be with them to proclaim April 7-11 the Week of the Young Child.

"We do this every year," Lunsford said of the proclamation he presented to Octavia Jones, program director.

"This is one of the best programs in the country. If it were not for Head Start programs many of these children could fall behind and never be able to catch up."

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Lunsford said Head Start provides the opportunity for children between the ages of 3 and 5 to get the foundation they need to be successful in school and in life.

"In today's world we have so many situations where both parents are working and they just don't have a lot of time to spend with their kids," he said. "They don't get to read to them or do other things that prepare them for school. When that happens, these children are often behind when they start school. Too many of them never catch up and we have to deal with them at the police department."

Lunsford said by calling attention to the need for high-quality early childhood services for all children and families within the Troy community,

Head Start programs

hope to improve the quality and availability of those services.

"The future of our community depends on the quality of the early childhood experiences provided to the young child today," he said. "These high-quality early childhood services represent a worthy commitment to our children's future."

Jones expressed appreciation to Lunsford and Council Member Jose Henderson for being a part of the OCAP's weeklong celebration. She also expressed appreciation to the Troy City Council for their continuous support of the Head Start program.

"We also want to thank the Troy Kiwanis Club and the Retired Teacher's Association for their participation in the RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program," Jones said. "The children love for someone to read to them. That's why we have a library here. Parents can come and get books to read to their children. That makes a favorable impression on the children and that's a service was are proud to provide."

The Week of the Young Child is held annually in conjunction with the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Jones said several activities have been planned for the children at Head Start in Troy.

"Members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority read to the children on Tuesday and, of course the mayor and Mr. Henderson came today and brought cake and cookies," she said. "Thursday is grandparents day and all grandparents or significant others are invited to visit with us from 9:30 until 11 o'clock," Jones said. "On Friday, we'll have fun day and we'll play outside games. The Week of the Young Child is always a lot of fun and we look forward to it. It is also an opportunity for us to thank all of those who support our program and we certainly want to say thank you to all of them."