St. Ambrose celebrates the childrenThere’s plenty of events that celebrate K-12 students — graduations, school carnivals, award ceremonies — but what about early childhood education students? St. Ambrose Catholic School is changing that notion.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
There’s plenty of events that celebrate elementary through high school students — graduations, school carnivals, award ceremonies — but what about early childhood education students? That’s where the "Week of the Young Child (WOYC)" comes into play at St. Ambrose Catholic School.
St. Ambrose of Woodbury Early Childhood Education Center (ECEC) will be celebrating the WOYC April 12-16.
“Not all centers do celebrate it, but it’s basically a celebration of, or recognition of, the importance of quality early childhood programs,” ECEC director Anne Huber said.
During the weeklong event parents, children and teachers will celebrate early childhood education and the kids with a variety of activities — including book making, staff appreciation, games and activities, school spirit and reading.
“It’s a fun time for kids to be kids,” Huber said. “Plus it gives us the chance to pat the parents on the back, pat ourselves on the back and certainly celebrate the kids.”
What is WOYC?
The WYOC was started in 1971 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children as a way to bring attention and recognition to the field of early childhood education.
In addition to being celebrated within the schools, the WOYC also sees parents and citizens rallying at the capitol for funding and support for early childhood education programs.
“It’s a fairly new concept,” Huber said. “People can take it as big or as little as they want.”
When ECEC opened its doors roughly 10 years ago, Huber said celebrating WOYC was always something that she wanted to recognize because she felt that it was such an important asset for the school.
Tying home and classroom together
Huber said one of the main focuses of WOYC is to bring all facets of early childhood education together — parents, teachers and students.
The event gives teachers another way to bring parents into the classroom, Huber said.
For example, all children will be creating and illustrating picture books during the WOYC that will eventually be bound and brought home to parents to see.
“This is a great way for them to share in their child’s day too and see everything that their kids can do — the parents have as much fun as the kids do,” Huber said.
In addition to sharing the books, ECEC will also be trying to include parents in what they are calling “Take 5” — where parents take five minutes before or after school to read with their child.
“It’s a chance (for parents) to start the day out with that special time before going to work,” Huber said.
Huber said the event allows everyone a chance to reflect on the importance of the early education program.
“It pumps everybody up, in reenergizes everybody, it refocuses what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and the importance of what we’re doing,” she said. “This week reminds teachers why they love what they do and it helps parents reflect on what we are doing with their kids.”
“We are proud of what we have here, so we want to celebrate what we have here — there’s some element of wanting to share with others.”