• Special to The Sun

‘Week of the Young Child’ set for April 24 to 28

‘WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD’ is being observed in Versailles, Midway and Woodford County, from April 24 to 28. A proclamation signed by Woodford County Judge-Executive John Coyle and Versailles Mayor Brian Traugott encourages “all citizens to work to make a good investment in early childhood development in our community.” From left are Simmons Elementary School Principal Tiffany Cook; Kathy Hogg, coordinator of district programs in Woodford County schools; Coyle, Simmons preschool teacher Kim Johnson, state Rep. James Kay, with his 16-month-old son, Kieran; Family Resource Coordinator Chelsea Burke, Traugott; and Courtney Nuckols, Top Tots grants manager. (Photo by Bob Vlach)

Woodford Top Tots will be sponsoring “Week of the Young Child” from April 24 to 28, with a free family learning event every evening between 6 and 7 p.m. at various locations around town. The activities target children from birth to age 5. “Music Monday” begins with a visit by the Lexington Philharmonic’s “Instrument Petting Zoo” at the Woodford County Library from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by a concert by children’s singers David Kisor and Demi Mays at Versailles Presbyterian Church. “Talk Together Tuesday” will be hosted by the Woodford County Extension office and feature recipes and kid-friendly cooking. “Work Together Wednesday” will be held at Falling Springs and “Artsy Thursday” will take place at the Woodford County Library. The final activity will be a “Family Movie Night” at Journey Church on Lexington Road. To sign up, just call the Library at 873-5191. Also, activities will be announced in May for the Countdown to Kindergarten, targeting children entering school for the first time in August. “Just looking at the participation and support from so many individuals and community organizations for Woodford Top Tots,” said Kathy Hogg, coordinator of district programs in Woodford County schools, “you can see they understand the extreme importance of supporting our young children’s growth. We all know that any time or money invested in early childhood pays dividends far beyond the original cost, and that is what drives our group to continue to do what we do.” The Woodford County Community Early Childhood Council (in partnership with the Kentucky Governor’s Office of Early Childhood) works with families, child care, local agencies and Woodford County Schools to provide information and materials aimed at getting children the best possible start in life. Its members are educators, childcare professionals, medical staff, therapists, trainers, librarians and elected officials who focus on giving strategies and creating conditions to take advantage of the time of greatest brain growth and development in a child’s life. According to data from screenings of all children entering kindergarten in Kentucky, about 50 percent score as having the skills showing they are ready to learn and benefit from kindergarten, “So we still have work to do,” said council Chair Kristy Hamlin, director of Versailles Presbyterian Church Preschool. “We know that pre-reading, mathematical thinking and many other foundational behaviors start long before a child begins their formal education in kindergarten. That’s why we work with the whole community to reach children and families to make sure they know how and what to do to build those very important skills.” “We try to reach families and children where they are. That’s why people may have seen us at many different locations such as downtown block parties, Falling Springs, Woodford County Library, the Farmer’s Market and social media,” adds Hogg. “We also know that the title and even the initials of our organization are very long, so we have adopted the name Woodford Top Tots combined with a bright eye-catching logo as an easy way for folks to remember who we are and how to find us.” For details and updated announcements on the Week of the Young Child or any other activity, search for Woodford Top Tots on Facebook or Twitter.

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