Celebrate our youth and those who care for them

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

Research and experience show that children's earliest years are the most crucial learning years.

What a child learns in the first years of life will carryover into the rest of their years.

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This week, we celebrate the Week of the Young Child, a recognition by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 100,000 members. The purpose 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 theme for 2004 is that now is the time to recognize that children's opportunities are our responsibility.

We all must celebrate the learning opportunities of young children and recognize the responsibilities we share 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.

The Week of the Young Child is a time to plan how we will better meet the needs of all young children.

The Lawrence County Early Childhood Center in South Point will celebrate the event next week. The Rock Hill Child Development Center is sponsoring activities this week to create awareness as to the importance of child development.

Local activities include a balloon launch, story time, a carnival and more.

Today's children are truly our future and we must remember this during this week and, hopefully, the other 51 weeks out of the year.

Each of us needs to step up

to the plate and realize that the little things can make a difference in a child's life.

Read a book. Go to the park. Watch television together. Just sit down to talk. And more important, listen.

If it is not enough to do it as your duty as an American, a parent or a community member, then do it for the children.

Do it for the future.