Young children and their families are still feeling the joy of a week spent with special activities at Sarah’s House to celebrate what early learning looks, sounds, and even tastes like.

Each day, parents and kids enjoyed a specific theme to help put the spotlight on an element of early childhood learning and development.

On Monday, they focused on how music helps children develop math, language, and literacy skills. Tuesday was a food-themed day, when s’mores became a lesson in math, literacy, and science. Wednesday was a work-together today, when the children built something together as a way to explore concepts in science and math, develop social skills, and enhance literacy through reading instructions. Thursday featured an art project, which boosts creativity, social skills, and fine-motor skills – plus choice-making and imagination. And Friday put a major focus on family to celebrate them as the most important part of supporting early learning.

“We were excited to take this time to celebrate and focus on the needs of children in our society, specifically for those that are experiencing or have experienced homelessness and trauma because their needs are most critical,” said Sarah’s House Program Director Kelly Anderson. “The children we serve are dealing with a plethora of challenges, including housing stability, so we look to focus on preparing them for life-long learning because our experience tells us it is a constant issue.”

The families at Sarah’s House are transitioning from homelessness, receiving particular supports to encourage their path toward independent stability.

“The great thing about our childcare center is we have a variety of children joining at different times of the day, and our educators are amazingly skilled at identifying exactly what each child needs to allow them to succeed and focus,” said Sarah’s House Childcare Program Manager Jana Boddy. “Our teachers do a lot of individual work with our children. [They] work hard to identify every child’s needs and determine what works best for them. Once their needs are established, then the tasks can be split up accordingly, and then everyone can come together as a group.”

The weeklong programming was part of the annual Week of the Young Child, a program from the National Association for the Education of Young Children. According to NAEYC CEO Rhian Evans Allvin, “Week of the Young Child reinforces that the early years (birth through age 8) are critical learning years and qualified early childhood professionals accelerate how our children learn, develop, build the skills to get along with others, and succeed in school and life.”