Two Rivers: Week of the Young Child

Child (MGN)

The purpose to recognize the Week of the Young Child™ is 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. The early years of a child’s life are very important for his or her health and development. Parents, health professionals, educators, and others can work together as partners to help children grow up to reach their full potential. Research tells us that the interactions a child has during her earliest years are critical to future success in life, including academic learning, social competency and lifelong well-being. Healthy, positive relationships shape the way a child understands and approaches all of her relationships and social interactions for the rest of her life.

One such program Two Rivers Public Health Department supports is Dawson County Rooted in Relationships.

This community driven approach to working in areas of childcare quality and parenting skills is funded by state and private foundation funds and includes:

• 3 year commitment for Pyramid training and coaching for childcare providers

• Sponsoring 8 week Circle of Security parenting classes

• Promoting and educating the public about the importance of teaching Social and Emotional skills for young children by participating in community events such as parades and other community events throughout Dawson County.

Rooted in Relationships works to improve the social and emotional development of children from birth through age 8 across Nebraska. The initiative builds on the early childhood and child well-being work of Nebraska Children and Families Foundation, targeting specific service systems and partners within communities. Rooted in Relationships is an initiative that partners with communities to implement evidence based practices that enhance the social-emotional development of children, birth through age 8.

Why focus on week of the young child?

Today we know more than ever before about the importance of children's earliest years in shaping their learning and development. Yet, never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.

The emotional, social and physical development of young children has a direct effect on their overall development and on the adult they will become. That is why understanding the need to invest in very young children is so important, so as to maximize their future well-being.

The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to recognize that children's opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment—at home, at child care, at school, and in the community—that will promote their early learning.

Local celebrations for the Week of the Young Child include:

Dawson County:

• Family Fun night-April 17 from 4:30-6:00 pm at the Lexington Middle School cafeteria.

• Family Movie night-April 21-3:00 pm at the Lexington Majestic Movie Theater-showing Where the Wild things are-FREE ADMISSION with 1 canned food item per person that will go to the food pantries in Dawson County.

• Free popcorn and prizes

Buffalo County:

• Bright Futures will be having the 4th annual Week of the Young Child BBQ Event on Tuesday April 17th from 5:00pm-7:30pm. At 1511 5th Ave

The Health Department encourages a holistic program of work to promote health and prevent diseases. The adoption of preventative factors in your life serve to promote health and wellness. Many healthy behaviors such as washing our hands, brushing our teeth, and safely controlling our anger are learned early in life from care givers such as parents, childcare providers, and educators. Education that young children receive becomes the cornerstone to living healthy lives as adults.

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