PVCC President, Dr. Paul Dale proclaimed April 10-16 as the “Week of the Young Child.” The week marked the 50th observance of the National Association for the Education of Young Children's “Week of the Young Child.” The proclamation begins, “WHEREAS, all young children in our community are capable and competent learners who deserve the best and most desirable early learning experiences." PVCC in partnership with the Arizona Association for the Education of Young Children (AzAEYC) celebrated the week with a variety of enriching activities.
The week began with an interview on Facebook with Marjorie Ruiz. Marjorie is a PVCC Early Childhood Education (ECE) student and participant in the First Things First professional development grant Collaborative Educators Institute and Leading Learning Council. AzAEYC featured three other First Things First North Phoenix Council funded professional development experiences facilitated by Paradise Valley Community College.
On Monday, April 12, AzAEYC released The Badas and Booms Project: Children’s Right to Music as a Language. The protagonists are the children in the early childhood program at St. Joan of Arc working with educator and PVCC ECE major, Dulce Shimkus, and music educator, Dr. Katherine Palmer, from the Musical Instrument Museum. Spoiler alert! “The Badas and Booms Project affirms that young children have the capacity and capability to invent new forms of language that contribute to their self-expression.”
On Wednesday, April 13, AzAEYC released, Listening and Observing: Children’s Right to Connection. The story shares the initial concerns of Sharon Reede and Tiffany Corona, educators at Strong Foundations for Early Learning and Resiliency as they work with a mixed aged group of one to three-year-olds. At the same time, Strong Foundations for Early Learning and Resiliency, was participating in the Collaborative Planning Community of Practice and meeting with Ana Stigsson and Christie Colunga to study documentation and plan for future curriculum work with the children.
On Thursday, April 14, AzAEYC released, The Oil Pastels Study: Children’s Right to Quality Art Materials. Once again, Ana Stigsson and Christie Colunga are in the community working with educators in job-embedded professional learning, this time at the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Early Learning Center. Ana and Christie meet regularly with Miranda and other UCP teaching staff to study children’s interactions and engagement with materials and the children’s thinking and representational processes. The study highlights how young children notice the difference in the quality of materials. Children know when they are not honored with the best and most desirable materials. Doing so shortchanges their opportunities to experiment with techniques and represent their thinking.
PVCC Early Childhood Education Program applauds First Things First as a 2021 co-sponsor of “Week of the Young Child” and for working in collaboration with AzAEYC to make these experiences of children and early childhood educators more widely known. The ECE Program looks forward to adding to this initial collection of the best and most desirable early childhood experiences, making well known the competencies and capabilities of children, families, and early childhood educators.
Each of the above, Dulce, Katie, Sharon, Tiffany, Miranda and Director, Katy Moon, were interviewed by Vicki Balint, AzAEYC Communications and Media Specialist. Vicki crafted the interviews and stories using the documentation each group gathered from the related experiences. The videos (contained within the links above) provide a powerful statement honoring the children and educators.