LEWISBURG — A simple, nightly storytime with your baby could expand your child’s future possibilities.
Early childhood education advocates stressed the importance of positive interaction for a child’s development during The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way and the Early Learning Investment Committee (ELIC) of the Susquehanna River Valley’s Champions of Early Education 2018 Summit at the Country Cupboard on Thursday.
The GSV United Way and the ELIC co-run the Champions of Early Childhood Education Program, which helps provide early education and literacy programming to area families.
The organizations premiered a video, “Every Baby Needs A Lap Top,” which aims to teach parents about the importance of talking, singing and reading to their newborn babies.
GSV United Way President Joanne Troutman said Evangelical Community Hospital will screen the video for new parents before they leave the hospital, and the plan is to have it used at other area hospitals as well.
“Early childhood education is the bond that ties everything together,” said ELIC Chairman Art Thomas. “We want to mold a better future.”
Two guest speakers echoed these sentiments. Dr. Dana Winters, the Fred Rogers Center director of simple interactions and academic programs, said decades of researchers have consistently found that successful children had a minimum of one stable and committed relationship with a supportive adult or caregiver.
“It doesn’t have to be a life-changing moment,” she said. “It is just the knowledge that someone cares.”
Stephanie Doliveira, ELIC commissioner and Sheetz human resources vice president of human resources said quality early childhood education promotes the productive workplace skills, citing that a properly nutured childhood curiosity can set up a promising career in the sciences.
“We’re thinking about the future workforce,” said Doliveira. She then encouraged business and community leaders to invest in quality early childhood education since it brings employment into the area, improves working conditions for parents, and prepares the next generation of workers.
She added that investment is vital in the area because only a small amount of children under five are served by all ECE programs in Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties.
The Summit also took time to thank community leaders who had advocated early childhood development.
Champions Chairwoman Kathy Swope presented the Distinguished Champion of Early Childhood Education Award to The Daily Item for its strong, continuing support of early childhood education.
The Daily Item publisher Frank Leto accepted the award. “There are many companies in the Valley that would be a worthy recipient but I am pleased to accept this on behalf of The Daily Item,” he said.
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