TO:           Advocates for Young Children
 
FROM:     Michele Smith Piggott, Smart Start Director, Alabama Partnership for Children
                       
RE:           UPDATE - Joining Hands for Week of the Young Child - CANCELED
 
 The Alabama Partnership for Children is cancelling the 10th annual Joining Hands for Week of the Young Child event that was scheduled for April 9th at the State House.  We have recently learned that this year’s legislative session (which was on the calendar to end April 28th) is on track to end as early as April 7th, so legislators will have left the State House and returned to their home districts by the event date of April 9th.  In light of this new information, we have decided to encourage advocates of young children to engage their lawmakers in their local communities as they return home from the legislative session. In keeping with previous years, we have asked that child advocates across the state coordinate with anyone that works with young children to collect handprints that children have traced and decorated.  Please keep all handprints collected and DO NOT mail to our office. If you have already mailed handprints to our office, these handprints will be returned to you and we urge you to mail or personally deliver them to your legislators and your city officials.
 
Anyone interested in celebrating Week of the Young Child by advocating for young children in their local communities can visit http://www.legislature.state.al.us/ to determine local contact information for your legislators. State lawmakers are always interested in hearing from constituents on the issues that are important to them.  Don’t be afraid to invite them to your facility and be sure to engage them in any Week of the Young Child activities you may have planned.  Listed below are some easy ways to celebrate Week of the Young Child:
Visit your local lawmaker and deliver child handprint artwork to remind them of the needs of young children.
Host a day at the mall, with activities for children and information for parents from family  service organizations.
  • Have a children’s parade through town.
  • Have a proclamation signed by a city government official.
  • Post art done by children in local restaurants and businesses.
  • Decorate community store windows to promote the celebration.
  • Have an art project set up at a child care center for parents and children to do together.
  • Support programs that provide quality early childhood education by volunteering at a local school, community center, Head Start or child care program.
  • Have local newspapers cover activities during the week.
  • Have an award where parents can nominate someone they think is an exceptional friend of  young children.
  • Educate yourself and others about the importance of quality early childhood education in preparing young children for school.
We would love to know of any activities planned in local communities. Please send us an email with the details or complete and return the WOYC event tracking form (found below).  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments by calling toll-free (866) 711-4025 or emailing mpiggott@SmartStartAlabama.org.