Month of the Young Child Kicks Off in the Summit City

By Megan Trent

March 29, 2012 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - It's time to celebrate the Month of the Young Child! The community kicked off the annual push for quality early childhood care and education Thursday at Headwaters Park.

Early Childhood Alliance and the Fort Wayne Association for the Education of Young Children have put together a host of ways to spread an important message - equipping the kids of today is one of the most important steps a community can take in building a better tomorrow.

At Thursday's kick off, a group of smiling kids put on a musical performance and local early childhood educators talked about the importance of several state and federal legislative issues impacting children in our community.

State legislators recently passed a bill that will create an advisory committee for early childhood education. In addition, the Paths to QUALITY rating and referral system that has its roots in the Summit City has now grown to more than 2,000 programs statewide.

Nationally, potential cuts that may impact student voucher dollars was also listed as a concern Thursday. Lisa A. Jones, President of the FWAEYC, says parents can get involved by writing to their legislators about issues important to them.

Jones says April is a time to celebrate the city's youth, but also to recognize there is still a long way to go. "This is the state of Indiana, and we should do better than this. Quality child care should be for every child. Just think about that. The more we start early with our children, the more productive they're going to be in our society."

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry was also at the event. He says, "Young people learn to read, but you really need to read to learn later on. Unless you give them that opportunity, it's really a disservice to the next generation."

Ivy Tech is also taking a lead role in Month of the Young Child events. They'll host the Marianne Musick Children's Art Exhibit April 13-22 and Touch-a-Truck April 21 from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.




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