NACOGDOCHES, Texas-The Stephen F. Austin State University Early Childhood Lab and Greater East Texas Community Action Program (GETCAP) Head Start will hold the fourth annual Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Festival Plaza in downtown Nacogdoches. The event will kick off the national Week of the Young Child, April 19-25, honoring children and those who make a difference in their lives.

Young children and their families are invited to enjoy free food and fun activities while spending quality time together. The event is designed to recognize the importance of early learning and literacy, and to celebrate the teachers and policies that bring early childhood education to those in the community.

Nacogdoches Mayor Roger Van Horn will present a proclamation for the Week of the Young Child to encourage community members to invest in early childhood education and to give thanks to those working to ensure these opportunities are available.

"All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life," said Lori Harkness, director of the SFA Early Childhood Lab.

Week of the Young Child is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, including child care centers, Head Start programs, preschools and elementary schools, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children.

"As a community, we share the responsibility to provide all children with a safe, nurturing, engaging, enjoyable and secure learning environment that will give them the necessary confidence to succeed in the present and to deal with later responsibilities in school and in life," said Weldon T. Beard, director of GETCAP Head Start.

Additional themed events planned for the week of April 21-25 include: Monday, Physical Activity Day; Tuesday, Promoting Healthy Children; Wednesday, Safety and Community Helpers; Thursday, Literacy Day; and Friday, Art/Music Appreciation Day. Teachers, schools and organizations involving children are encouraged to create lessons or plan activities to address these topics. Suggested activities to engage students and enhance learning opportunities can be found at

For more information about the Week of the Young Child events and activities, contact the SFA Early Childhood Lab at (936) 468-4006.