The Early Childhood Lab at Stephen F. Austin State University and the Greater East Texas Community Action Program's Head Start program will honor young children and all those who make a difference in children's lives during the Week of the Young Child, April 11 through 15.

"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. "Week of the Young Child is time to recognize the importance of early learning for all young children, and to bring Nacogdoches together to help give all young children a great start."

To begin the celebration, the 6th annual Family Fun Day will be from 10 a.m. to 1p.m. Saturday, April 9, downtown in Festival Park and will include many fun-filled activities for children and their families.

"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, Head Start director.

Young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which helps children get a great start and brings lasting benefits to Nacogdoches, Harkness said.

The Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 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.

Daycare facilities, schools and other organization working with children are encouraged to participate in themes that have been established for each day during the weeklong observance. Themes are: Monday, Physical Activity Day; Tuesday, Promoting Healthy Children Day; Wednesday, Safety and Community Helpers Day; Thursday, Literacy Day; and Friday, Art/Music Appreciation Day.

For more information, call the SFA Early Childhood Lab at (936) 468-4006.