Somerville, MA – Hundreds of pre-Kindergarten students from around the City and their teachers and families are expected to join local dignitaries and early education leaders from around the state at Somerville’s City Hall on Tuesday morning, April 14th, for a special one-hour event highlighting the Week of the Young Child. The event will provide some of Somerville’s youngest residents the opportunity to sing, tour various city hall offices to learn about city management, participate in a civic engagement activity, and be part of a proclamation reading by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone.
“We are fortunate in Somerville to have strong support for initiatives that directly impact young children, families, and early childhood educators. Serving children well is the hallmark of a healthy city,” stated Somerville Public Schools Early Education Director, Lisa Kuh. “Somerville knows this and lives it on a daily basis. Bringing children to city hall to engage with local government is an opportunity to celebrate our successes. This celebration is also a way to say thank you to our city leadership for their work in making Somerville a great place for families and a great place to work with and for children.”
The event at City Hall begins at 10:00 a.m. with a proclamation reading by Mayor Curtatone, advocating for children, families and teachers. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) designated a week in April as the Week of the Young Child to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families. Communities are encouraged to celebrate young children throughout the week with a variety of special events.
As part of Tuesday’s celebration at City Hall, Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC) staff members wrote a social story, Somerville: Working Together for a Wonderful City. The social story, along with an accompanying lesson plan, was made available to early childhood classrooms in the City to assist in helping students learn about the work that goes on in City Hall as they prepare for their tour of city hall offices. Students will also have an opportunity to vote as part of their educational tour that morning.
Somerville resident, activist, and Lesley University Professor Nancy Carlsson-Paige will be a guest speaker at this event. Carlsson-Page is author of five books, including her most recent, Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids. Students from Somerville High School’s Early Childhood Career and Technical Education program will also share some of their work from a study they conducted of the UNICEF Rights of the Child movement. Singing and art will also be part of the day’s celebration with songs led by parent liaison Maura Mendoza, and Marina Seevak of The Beautiful Stuff Project guiding students in the creation of tiny art projects that will become part of a larger art installation at City Hall.
For more information about this event, visit the Somerville Early Education (SEE) blog at “Week of the Young Child: Children Engage with City Hall” at http://somervilleearlyeducation.blogspot.com/2015/03/week-of-young-child-children-engage.html. This event is hosted by the Somerville Public Schools (SPS), SomerPromise, and the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative (SFLC).