NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Early Childhood Lab, in partnership with the Greater East Texas Community Action Program Head Start Program, invites the community to participate in the Week of the Young Child, which will be observed Monday, April 13, through Friday, April 17, in Nacogdoches County.

As part of the National Week of the Young Child celebrated across the U.S., Nacogdoches is honoring young children and all those who make a difference in children's lives.

"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 a time to recognize the importance of early learning for all young children and to bring the community together to help give all young children a great start."

"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 of GETCAP.

The annual Family Fun Day will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at Festival Park in downtown Nacogdoches. This activity will be a free event with many fun-filled activities for children and families to do together.

During the week, all daycares, schools or other organizations working with children are encouraged to join together to honor young children and their families. The community has the opportunity to participate in various events and activities that focus on our children and those who work with children. Each day will reflect a designated theme. The themes are as follows:

Monday, April 13 - Physical Activity Day
Tuesday, April 14 - Literacy Day
Wednesday, April 15 - Promoting Health Day
Thursday, April 16 - Children Safety and Community Helpers Day
Friday, April 17 - Art/Music Appreciation Day

According to Harkness, young children and their families depend on high-quality education and care, which help children get a great start and bring lasting benefits to Nacogdoches. This week-long event 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.

The SFA Early Childhood Lab and the GETCAP Head Start Program are comprised of early childhood professionals working together to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education and to build public support for high-quality early childhood education programs.

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