Antonio Bravo, 32, of Merced gives his son’s kite some extra help getting airborne Sunday in Livingston at last year’s Kite Festival. This year’s festival will take place Sunday at Livingston Middle School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. THADDEUS MILLER MERCED SUN-STAR FILE
Week of the Young Child, a nationwide observance meant to bring attention to the development of children and the needs of their families, is set to kick off Sunday.
This year, Week of the Young Child, headed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, will take place April 12-18. In Merced County, the week of activities will start with Livingston’s annual Kite Festival.
Stephanie Aguilar, a program specialist at First 5 Merced County, said the week celebrates all children, families and the education workforce. According to the NAEYC, children learn in a variety of ways. Play at a young age is important for promoting language, cognition and social competence.
Events and activities that promote play and education are scheduled throughout Merced County communities:
▪ The fourth annual Kite Festival will take place at Livingston Middle School from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The event will feature kite-making workshops, building contests, face painting and crafts. The first 500 kids will receive a free kite.
▪ The Strong from the Start Through Literacy story time event will start Monday and continue throughout the week at the ACCESS Center in Los Banos, 663 I St. Elected officials will read to children, and each child will walk away with a free book.
Aguilar explained that Merced County has been participating in the Week of the Young Child for more than a decade, and the event continues to grow each year. The largest activities, which are usually the Kite Festival and the Day at the Park, can gather up to 1,200 people, she said. No registration for the events is required.
For more information, call the First 5 Merced County office at (209) 385-7337 or the Merced County Office of Education at (209) 381-6600.