Celebrating the 2021 Week of the Young Child

week of the young child 50th anniversary

The National Association for the Education of Young Children’s Week of the Young Child is turning 50!  This weeklong celebration highlights the importance of high-quality learning opportunities for young children and their families through a variety of awareness building activities.  This year, the Week of the Young Child will be celebrated  April 10-April 16, 2021.

The Early Learning Team at the Department of Education wants to take this opportunity to acknowledge the week that brings attention to whole child growth and development across the birth-grade 3 span and to encourage educators, families, and anyone interested in supporting young children to be part of this celebration. Each day of this weeklong celebration offers a theme to promote engagement of educators, families and students in new and exciting activities. For more information and ideas you can check out the NAEYC website or our Maine affiliate, Maine Association for the Education of Young Children (MAEYC).

As an example, the Maine DOE would like to highlight one public Pre-K program in RSU 58/MSAD 58 where teachers and administrators have come together to plan a week filled with activities  for their local students and families. With a Pre-K teacher taking the lead, the RSU 58 team raised $500 dollars in donations to purchase books through Scholastic Book Clubs. This will allow every child in their school systems from PreK-3rd grade to take a book home. RSU 58 has three elementary schools and they will be holding a Week of the Young Child event in all three locations. There will also be a book walk, literacy games, a book basket raffle and flyers about ways to improve child development. Way to go RSU 58!

Additionally, the Maine DOE’s Early Learning Team would like to celebrate the work of a number of Maine educators over the course of the past year in developing interdisciplinary, asynchronous learning modules for young children (PK-3) that can be accessed through the Maine Online Opportunities for Student Learning (MOOSE) platform.

Furthermore, the department, with support from Maine educators, has just published a Foundational Skills module for parents and caregivers  interested in better understanding how children’s foundational skills develop between ages 3-9 in the areas of literacy, mathematics, motor development, and approaches to learning. This new module is also housed within the MOOSE platform.

More information pertaining to the high-quality early education, transitions and development of young children can be accessed from our Early Childhood home page. Questions and concerns should be directed to our Early Childhood Specialist, nicole.madore@maine.gov