Maine will honor young children and all those who make a difference in children’s lives as part of the national Week of the Young Child, April 16-20, which is celebrated across the country, ccording to a news release from the Maine Association of the Education of Youth Children.

“All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Maine has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children,” said Tara Williams, executive director of the association, according to the release. “Week of the Young Child is a time for Maine to recognize that the early years are learning years for all young children.”

This year association will sponsoring seven free community festivals, including a rally at the State House.

Families with young children can attend the festivals and connect with educators and legislators. Mayors, state senators and state representatives, will join families at events around the state.

As part of the Early Childhood Day at the State House, the association will have a press conference and awards ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, in the Hall of Flags. Two retiring legislators, Rep. Richard Farnsworth, D-Portland and Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta, will be honored.

Week of the Young Child Events:

• Children’s activities, 9-11 a.m. Wednesday, April 18, Augusta, Hall of Flags, State House, 210 State St. in Augusta. Event will feature snacks, educators and parents can connect with legislators, press conference with awards for MaineAEYC 2018 Children’s Champions.

• Children’s art show and activities, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21, Historical Society of Wells & Ogunquit, 938 Post Road in Wells.

• Community festival with puppeteer, food and more, 3:30-6 p.m., Friday, April 27, Educare Central Maine, 56 Drummond Ave. in Waterville.

• Parade, 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 28, parade will start at the East End Beach with festival immediately following at the East End Community School, 195 North St. in Portland. The festival will feature a concert with Music Together, photobooth, snacks and more.

• Children’s activities, 10 a.m. to noon, Mallet Elementary School, 16 Middle St. in Farmington;

• Children’s activities, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28, Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main St. in Kennebunk. Event will feature a family concert with Rob Duquette.

• Community festival, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 28, Maine Discovery Museum, 74 Main St. in Bangor. The festival will feature snacks and special activities for young children.

The association established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life, according to the release. The Week of the Young Child is a time to plan how we, as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation, will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.

NAEYC designates the Week of the Young Child dates and theme each year, but events are planned and implemented by local communities. Celebrations are organized and coordinated by regional, state and local NAEYC Affiliates, and by individual early childhood programs and community organizations providing services to young children and families.

For more information, contact Williams at [email protected] or 274-1478.


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