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County#039;s early childhood center to feature art auction, carnival

SOUTH POINT - Children and families will be the focus during Week of the Young Child festivities at the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center this week.

The theme for the celebration is "Children's Opportunities, Our Responsibilities."

Sue Vanderhoof, center director, said the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center, has good resources for children and their families, but many children live in poverty, have health concerns and other needs that families may need help in addressing.

Research shows that high-quality early childhood programs help children - especially those from families with low-incomes - develop the skills they need to succeed in school. However, most programs in the United States are rated mediocre, and fewer than 10 percent meet national accreditation standards.

The government must join parents and other communities in sharing the responsibility for ensuring the well-being of children and families, Vanderhoof said.

"We can and must do more to create opportunities that help all children and families succeed," she said.

"Working together with families and other community partners, we can help give children the best first chances they have at development in all areas of life,"

said Gina Campbell-Runyon, a preschool disabilities teacher with the Lawrence County Board of MRDD. "It is crucial to early development for children with delays and all children, for that matter to have opportunities that will help grow their bodies and minds, as well as their creativity and curiosity."

To increase awareness around issues facing young children and their families, several activities are scheduled as part of Week of the Young Child. On Monday,

preschoolers and toddlers will enjoy a puppet show and choir performance by students from Ironton High School.

Tuesday is Transportation Day. Children will get to see all sorts of different vehicles. Free car seat safety checks will also be conducted. On Tuesday evening, beginning at 6 p.m., an auction of childrens artwork will be conducted with proceeds to benefit the purchase of adaptive play equipment.

Students at the Early Childhood Center will participate in a special parade at the Early Childhood Center on Wednesday.

Members of the marching bands from Rock Hill and South Point High Schools will also participate in the parade.

Thursday's main event will be a special children's carnival, featuring amusements, face painting, games and more for toddlers and preschoolers.

The carnival begins at 10 a.m. and the public is invited.

Approximately 350 children attend programs daily at the Lawrence County Early Childhood Center.