Week of the Child: Wee Wisdom Learning Center celebrates children

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, April 13, 2016

warm up: Angie Woodard teaches students the importance of warming up the muscles prior to exercising.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

warm up: Angie Woodard teaches students the importance of warming up the muscles prior to exercising.
Photo by Cassandra Favre

This week, the children and staff at Wee Wisdom Learning Center in Picayune are celebrating the Week of the Young Child with an enormous amount of enthusiasm and support from the community.
The annual celebration was established in 1971 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Wee Wisdom Learning Center Assistant Director Melanie Kawafha said.
“The purpose of Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families,” she said. “It is also a time to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. The early childhood years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later in life. This is a time to plan how we – citizens of a community, of a state and of a nation – will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.”
Each day this week, children participated in a variety of activities targeted at enhancing beneficial eating and exercising habits, their imagination and their family.
Many community members volunteered their time to the celebration, including local musician Faith Hill Cooper.
Tuesday, Angie Woodard taught students a variety of exercise techniques, including burpees, jumping jacks, sit-ups and push-ups. She also taught them the importance of drinking water while exercising and that becoming and staying healthy is one of the main goals of physical activity.
That same day, Patricia Jones spoke to the children about proper nutrition and the importance of vegetables in a well-balanced diet.
Thursday, children will create their own works of art with Chris Huffman. Friday, the focus will be on the family as the children enjoy a visit from a clown who will make balloon animals and talk about their families. They will also get to enjoy snowballs and a fun jump.
None of the activities this week would be possible without donations from local sponsors, Kawafha said. Students were also given coupons to local businesses.
In addition to the yearly celebration, students also participate in learning activities year-round.
One of those is planting vegetables. They plant the seeds in class and then transfer the plant outside. Once the vegetables are ready to be harvested, they are incorporated into the students’ meals, Kawafha said.
During monarch butterfly season, students observe the process involved for a monarch caterpillar to become a butterfly.
“Wee Wisdom offers a very loving and nurturing environment full of learning and fun,” Kawafha said. “We recognize that each child is different and want our children to feel loved and accepted for being who they are. We strive to prepare our children to make an easy transition into the real world by arming them with the social skills and early education they will need in order to have a successful future. We as a society need to stop and recognize how unique and special children are. We also need to encourage, support and arm them with the skills they need in order to take positive steps towards a successful future. After all, children are our future.”

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