March 30, 2001

Vanderbilt University celebrates National Week of the Young Child

Featured Image

From left, Jennifer Hamilton, a social worker with the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital Child Development Center accepts a check for $50,750 from country artist Martina McBride and Phran Galante, chair of the Music City Tennis Invitational Tournament. The check represents the amount raised during last year’s tournament. This year’s tournament will be May 5 and 6 at the Vanderbilt Tennis Center. (photo by Dana Johnson)

The public is invited to join Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Gov. Don Sundquist and preschoolers from the Vanderbilt Child Care Centers, John F. Kennedy Center Susan Gray School for Children and Nashville child care centers to kick off local celebrations for the national Week of the Young Child on Monday, April 2.

“Early childhood – where our future begins!” is the theme for the 10 a.m. kickoff at the Nashville Zoo on April 2, as well as other events held in Nashville during the Week of the Young Child, celebrated nationally April 1-7.

The kickoff will feature a performance by children’s musical entertainer Roger Day and an animal show.

The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus attention on the importance of the early years for children’s learning and all aspects of development. Organized by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and its local chapters, the week is a call for action to parents, early childhood educators and allied professionals, business leaders, community leaders, and the public at large to make the critical early years the best that they can be for all children.

Other local public events scheduled during the week include:

•”Encouraging Language from Coos to Kindergarten,” Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m., Room 241 Kennedy Center.

•“From Neurons to Neighborhoods,” 7 p.m., Thursday, April 5, at the Cumberland Science Museum. Panelists for this forum on the importance of the quality of early childhood experiences are Roger H. Brown, CEO of Bright Horizons Family Solutions; Carol Chumney, state representative; Dr. Henry Foster, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology at Meharry Medical College, board chair of the National Libraries of Medicine, and former presidential senior adviser on teen pregnancy reduction and youth issues; Dr. Joseph F. Lentz, president of Tennessee Academy of Pediatrics; and Mark Wolery, professor of special education and John F. Kennedy Center senior fellow, Vanderbilt University. For reservations call 401-5104

Vanderbilt University and the Nashville Area Association for the Education of Young Children (NAAEYC) are sponsoring the local events. Vanderbilt University sponsors include the Kennedy Center; the Center for Child and Family Policy and the State and Local Government Policy Center at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies; Bill Wilkerson Center; Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital; and the Office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations. Community sponsors include the Cumberland Pediatrics Foundation, Cumberland Science Museum, Nashville Zoo, and Tennessee Early Intervention System.

Underwriters for the events are Adventis Pasteur, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Centerstone Community Mental Health Centers, Cumberland Pediatric Foundation, Dollar General, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Vanderbilt Child and Family Policy Center.

For information on Nashville’s Week of the Young Child events, call 383-6292.