The “Week of the Young Child” kicks off in high gear Saturday morning as children are invited to “touch a truck.”
Union County First Steps will begin the celebration of the “Week of the Young Child” on Saturday with Touch-A-Truck 2012 at the Union County Fairgrounds from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Parents and children will have the opportunity to explore 25-plus vehicles including 18-wheelers, police cars, ambulances, concrete mixers, fire trucks, wreckers, school buses, bulldozers, backhoes and more.
Admission to the event is free, and a children’s art display, train rides, face painting and other activities will be available for children in attendance.
Union County First Steps Executive Director Linda Parker said she is looking forward to the excitement Saturday’s event is sure to bring, as this is the fourth Touch-A-Truck event held by First Steps. Parker described the usual atmosphere.
“Horns are blowing, lights are flashing and the kids are having a ball,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the kids have a good time.”
Local organizations that work directly with children and their families will have exhibits and families will be able to receive valuable information about the services available in Union County.
“I am so thrilled with how many agencies are coming,” Parker said. “This is a partnership with everybody in Union County. We couldn’t do this without the help of the City of Union and Union County.”
The Union County Sheriff’s Office will also be on hand to conduct a safety presentation, and Upstate Pediatrics will conduct Body Mass Index testing and provide information regarding nutrition. Healthy snacks provided by Bi-Lo, Food Lion and Wal-Mart will be also available.
Other agencies that will have a presence at the event will include Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, South Carolina DJJ, Drug and Alcohol Prevention, Union County DSN, BabyNet, First Steps, Virtual Library Enrollment, Union County YMCA, Union Carnegie Library, Department of Social Services, Adult Education, Children’s Advocacy and Nurse Family Partnership.
Parker said she is thankful for all those who sponsored the event, allowing First Steps to present these types of programs for local children at no cost to their families. Anyone who is interested in being a sponsor may make tax deductible donations to Union County First Steps, 120 Lakeside Drive, Union, SC 29379.
Parker initially got the idea for the Touch-A-Truck event after learning about a similar fundraiser in Winston Salem, NC.
“I wanted something that would make the county aware of the things First Steps did and programs available for children,” she said.
That is what the Week of the Young Child is all about.
The theme of the Week of the Young Child is “Early years are learning years.” The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
Parker explained that First Steps works with families and children from prenatal to five years of age.
“A lot of people don’t realize how important early education is,” Parker said. “The most important time for brain development is from birth to three years age.”
First Steps currently provides parenting groups and home visitation programs to help parents and children gain the knowledge they need before children begin school.
Look for more information about the Week of the Young Child and tips for nurturing young, developing minds on www.uniondailytimes.com and in next week’s editions of The Union Daily Times.