FARMINGTON — While a big focus of the Week of the Young Child is bringing attention to the needs of young children, it's also a friendly reminder of the joys of childhood.

The San Juan College Child and Family Development Center, in conjunction with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, are hosting a week of events to recognize the importance of early childhood programs.

 

IF YOU GO

What: San Juan College Week of the Young Child<

Wednesday: 9 a.m.: Greetings from San Juan College President Toni Pendergrass at the Child and Family Development Center playground

9:30 to 11:15 a.m.: Obstacle course on the lawn in front of the Child and Family Development Center

3 p.m.: Storyteller Mary Poppcorn in room 8126 of the Child and Family Development Center

 

Thursday: 9:30 to 11:15 a.m.: Safety Day, police, paramedics and Air Care helicopter, in the parking lot next to Cosmetology.

Friday: 10 to 11 a.m.: Trike-a-thon at the Learning Commons Plaza

Where: San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd., Farmington

Cost: Free admission

 

More Info: Call 505-566-3383.

 

"This week is set aside to bring attention to some of the needs that children in families have," said Mary Schumacher-Hoerner, associate professor of early childhood education at the college.

On Tuesday, the center hosted a Family Fair at the college's student center to introduce parents to programs that support children and families in San Juan County.

"There are many, many things I've noticed people in the community are just unaware of," Schumacher-Hoerner said.

After student Jackie Reed was done with classes, she and her four-year-old daughter, Maliyah, visited the fair.

"I was just seeing if they had booths for (children's) programs for the summer to get her to interact with other kids. She's the only child," Reed said.

Maliyah is enrolled in preschool at the Child and Family Development Center, which allows Reed to attend classes while her daughter is nearby.

Reed said she thinks that her daughter has become more assertive because of the time she has spent in the campus center. Programs that Reed learned about from past Family Fairs, such as a ballet class that Maliyah attended last year, have also helped.

"(Maliyah) is able to make her own choices, see what she likes and go after what she likes," Reed said.

New at this year's Family Fair is a silent auction of children's art. The auction is at 2 p.m. Friday at the Child and Family Development Center. Proceeds go to the Parents and Educators Club, which uses the money to benefit children.

The Child and Family Development Center plans to host several events today through Friday at their building on campus.

"We wanted the kids to have fun and have activities that parents could come in and be involved with also," said Francell Nakai, toddler lead teacher at the center. "Parent participation is a big thing."

Nakai said that Thursday's Safety Day, a program dedicated to introducing children to emergency services, is her favorite event of the week.

"It's nice to have the helicopter land next to your building," she said.

Also this week, families from around the county are invited to join the roughly 90 students enrolled at the Child and Family Development Center in events like an obstacle course, story time and a tricycle race.

For Schumacher-Hoerner, this week is all about creating opportunities for young children.

"They already have potential, and we want to give them opportunities for that potential," she said. "We believe they are perfectly capable and knowledgeable ... They've always been that way, what we want to do is celebrate that."

Joshua Kellogg can be reached at jkellogg@daily-times.com; 505-564-4627. Follow him on Twitter @jkelloggdt