More than 300 youngsters enjoyed a day of outdoor fun at Play Daze, an outdoor learning experience hosted recently by the Richmond County Partnership for Children and the Early Childhood Department of Richmond Community College.
While the children thought the event was just a fun opportunity to play, run around in the open air and even use their outside voice, it was much more. Each of the activities held a learning opportunity, including counting, motor skills, dance and safety.
Canine Deputy Josh Chermak and his dog, Kees, mesmerized the youths as Kees followed the deputy’s hand movements to stay, go and even bark. Kids rolled balls through a lengthy pipe, waiting for the balls to reappear at the bottom and occasionally peering in the end to see what was happening.
Others dug in a sandbox, describing what they were making to college students manning the booth, while still others twirled round and round with streamers, collapsing to the ground with giggles as they became dizzy.
Play Daze was part of the Partnership’s annual “Week of the Young Child” celebration. The nationally designated week focuses attention on the needs of young children and their families and recognizes early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
“Early learning experiences are crucial to the growth and development of young children,” said Martha Vance Brown, executive director of the Partnership. “Never before have the needs of young children and their families been more pressing.”
With active child care programming for child care centers throughout the county, Partnership officials not only realize the importance of preschool education for the children and their parents, but also develop programs geared to the specific needs of our county.
While Play Daze was a program of the Partnership and Richmond Community College, it would not have been possible without the contributions of these local businesses and organizations.
Rex’s Floor Covering, Boe’s Florist, Vulcan Materials Co., Hamlet Hardware, N.C. Zoo, Laurinburg Fire Department, Thomas H. Leath Memorial Library, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Discovery Place KIDS, Cooperative Extension, Richmond County Schools, Pee Dee Electric, Seaboard Container Cleaning, Lowe’s of Rockingham, Be Active Kids, Cookies Closet and Marsha Williams.
The Partnership offers a network of programs to assist young children and their families. Visit the website at www.RichmondSmartStart to review current programming.