Stephen F. Austin State University's Early Childhood Lab and the Greater East Texas Community Action Program Head Start invite Nacogdoches County to come together to kick off the national Week of the Young Child, April 12-16, honoring young children and all those who make a difference in children's lives.

The fifth annual Family Fun Day will be hosted from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 10, in Festival Park in downtown Nacogdoches. The free, community wide event will offer many fun-filled activities for children and families to do together. Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, is an opportunity for early childhood programs across the country, including child care and Head Start programs, preschools and elementary schools, to hold activities to bring awareness to the needs of young children.

"All young children need and deserve high-quality early learning experiences that will prepare them for life, and Nacogdoches has a great opportunity to do our part to help young children," said Lori Harkness, director of the SFA Early Childhood Lab.

Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which provide lasting benefits to Nacogdoches, she said. Week of the Young Child also is a time to recognize the importance of early learning and early literacy, and to celebrate the teachers and policies that bring early childhood education to 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.