Brenda O’Donnell, Suffolk Early Childhood Development Commission coordinator, reads to students at Michelle Freeman’s in-home daycare center as Freeman looks on. The reading was set up to celebrate Week of the Young Child.
Brenda O’Donnell, Suffolk Early Childhood Development Commission coordinator, reads to students at Michelle Freeman’s in-home daycare center as Freeman looks on. The reading was set up to celebrate Week of the Young Child.

Archived Story

Week of the Young Child marked

Published 10:00pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Brenda O’Donnell curled up on the floor of Michelle Freeman’s home with the book “Seven Blind Mice” on Tuesday morning.

With five children ranging in age from 1 to 4 clamoring around her, O’Donnell, the city’s Early Childhood Development Commission coordinator, read the book and patiently stopped for teaching moments along the way — asking the children to show seven fingers, asking them to pick out their own stuffed mice from a bucket, asking the colors of the mice and even learning the Spanish words for the colors from the older children.

The focus on literacy in young children is part of the celebration of Week of the Young Child. O’Donnell and commission members visited the city’s in-home and facility daycares, bringing resources for children, parents and caregivers.

Freeman’s North Suffolk home is rated by the Virginia Star Quality Initiative, which helps parents learn how child care centers and in-home programs meet important criteria.

“It’s focusing on literacy for young children,” Freeman said about the importance of Week of the Young Child. “It’s so important for them to read and be read to.”

A parent workshop was held Tuesday night to celebrate the week. In addition, a preschool spring festival will be held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 S. Sixth St.

For more information, call 514-7442.

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