Stephen F. Austin State University student volunteers from the Early Childhood Organization set up a rain gutter regatta boat race at last year's Family Fun Day during Week of the Young Child. This year, Week of the Young Child will be observed Monday, April 24, through Friday, April 28, in Nacogdoches County.

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Stephen F. Austin State University Early Childhood Lab, in partnership with the Greater East Texas Community Action Program's Head Start Program, invites the community to participate in the Week of the Young Child, which will be observed Monday, April 24, through Friday, April 28, in Nacogdoches County.

As part of the National Week of the Young Child, Nacogdoches will honor 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 help 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."

Weldon T. Beard, head start director of GETCAP, agrees community involvement in early childhood education is of the upmost importance.

"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," Beard said.

The annual Family Fun Day will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22, 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 and honor young children and their families. Each day will reflect a designated theme. The themes are:

Monday, April 24 - Music Monday; Sing, dance, celebrate and learn
Tuesday, April 25 - Taco Tuesday; Healthy eating and fitness
Wednesday, April 26 - Work Together Wednesday
Thursday, April 27 - Artsy Thursday; Think, problem-solve and create
Friday, April 28 - Family Friday; Sharing family stories.

The SFA Early Childhood Lab and the GETCAP Head Start Program comprise early childhood professionals working together to improve professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education.

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