Troy celebrates ‘year of the young child’

Published 9:46 pm Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This week has special significance for young children in Troy as well as young children all across the country.

Troy Head Start is celebrating the Week of the Young Child and Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford signed a proclamation Wednesday declaring April 20-24, the Week of the Young Child in Troy.

“Head Start is one of the best programs ever initiated by the federal government,” Lunsford said. “There are many children who don’t get the early training they need and, therefore, start school behind. If a child starts school behind, it’s difficult for them to ever catch up. The Head Start program goes a long way in making sure that children don’t start behind.”

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The Week of the Young Child is important to all communities because it brings attention to the need for high-quality early childhood services for all children and families.

“In Troy, we hope to continually improve the quality and availability of these services,” Lunsford said. “The future of our community depends on the quality of early childhood experiences provided to young children today. High quality early childhood services represent a worthy commitment to our children’s future.”

Octavia Jones, Head Start director, said the purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to support the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

“At Head Start, we offer a comprehensive program that includes an emphasis on health,” Jones said. “If a child is not healthy, he or she can’t learn. We also offer our program to children with disabilities.

“During this week, we recommit ourselves to ensure that every child enjoys the type of childhood that lays the best possible foundation for the future.”

Now is the time of the year for recruitment for the Head Start program.

“We are licensed for 140 children,” Jones said. “Seventy of our children will move up so we’ll have that many openings for next school year.”

Income eligible children must be between the ages of three and five to enroll. For more information call, 566-1713.