The Office of Early Childhood and Newark Public Schools Celebrated The Week of the Young Child

Pre-Kindergarten students and their families concluded Week of the Young Child with “Pancakes and Pajamas” to celebrate Newark’s youngest learners

[Newark, NJ, April 21, 2016] – Newark Public Schools (NPS) and the Office of Early Childhood celebrated the conclusion of the Week of the Young Child this past Saturday with over 300 people attending a “Pancakes and Pajamas” event at Newark Public Library. The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, teachers and families.

“The Week of the Young Child helps shed a light on the important role early learning plays on a child’s development and highlights the great work of our students, as well as their families and teachers,” said Superintendent Christopher Cerf of NPS. “We are proud to have teachers and families who are making childhood literacy a priority.”

The “Pancakes and Pajamas” lunch was part of a collaboration between the Department of Children and Families (DCPP), Newark Public Library and NPS. The event was held in order to encourage families to visit the community library together and increase literacy. Community leaders attended the event and read to the children. In addition, there was a magician, face painter, raffles and goodie bags for kids. All participants received a free library card.

“Pancakes and Pajamas” was just one in a series of activities NPS’ Office of Early Childhood held throughout the week to celebrate The Week of the Young Child. Through a partnership with the Newark Museum, children in preschools in the South Ward created art work for the South Ward Children’s Art Exhibit that will be on display in the museum for the month of April.

“The Week of the Young Child is a very special week for the Office of Early Childhood,” said F. Nana Ofosu-Amaah, Executive Director of NPS Office of Early Childhood. “This is a time to pause, reflect, and celebrate the work we collectively do to ensure that our youngest learners receive the very best educational experiences now. For our pre-kindergarten children to have an opportunity to exhibit their work in a museum is simply phenomenal. In partnering with the Newark Public Library we hope to demonstrate to families what an invaluable resource the libraries are and encourage them to use this resource to build children’s early literacy skills and knowledge. We are very grateful to our partners.”

In addition, NPS partnered with local libraries, senior citizen centers and other community-based partners to display artwork from pre-kindergarten children throughout the week. Newark Preschoolers also donated 300 pieces of artwork to patients at University Hospital. The theme of the artwork was “Happy 350th Birthday, Newark!” This year marks Newark’s 350th anniversary.