Northfield kids matter and so do their early childhood professionals!

Click for larger viewThe Northfield Early Childhood Initiative Coalition recently sponsored a luncheon for area Northfield Early Childhood Professionals.  The coalition wanted to say "Thank you!" for what they do in our community for children every day.  There was a great turn out at the Northfield Golf Club to hear speakers Judy Janish and Vicki Thrasher-Cronin.  Attendees also enjoyed networking time and a nice pasta buffet lunch.

Judy Janish (aka "Shirley from Dez Moines") humorously spoke about her experience working as a home daycare mom and in other kid crazy places.  She encouraged childcare workers to play more, play with the kids. They learn by playing but also need to be shown how to play. We don't need to spend so much time in "fast forward," we should all spend more time in rewind (reflect & be thankful), pause (rest, listen & look) and play (make good memories & laugh more)!

Click for larger viewVicki Thrasher-Cronin, an associate director of Ready4K, a children’s advocacy campaign promoting school readiness for each Minnesota child, spoke on the importance of early childhood experiences and how children learn.  She showed how the brain develops: first comes crawling, then running; first comes language, then speaking; our brains develop in a progression and you can’t jump in at any point and expect a child to grasp a skill in one day. We are all learning all the time and children especially need positive experiences to make more connecting neurons in their brains. The more early connections made, the better a child can learn and the better they are prepared for school.
 
The luncheon concluded with a thank you gift and the hope that those in attendance were rejuvenated and better informed – and also felt very appreciated!

To learn more about Ready4K, check out their website at www.ready4k.org. To strengthen child care opportunities, check out www.childcareworks.org. Northfielders can become directly involved in these issues by joining the Northfield Early Childhood Initiative Coalition.

The Northfield Public library will be starting a school readiness awareness program prepared by the Public Library Association called "Every Child Ready to Read @ your library." For more information, visit the PLA website or call me at the library: 645-1804.