April dedicated to celebrating kids

Several events scheduled to bring awareness to Month of the Young Child

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— April rain showers may feed the May flowers, but April also represents a time to celebrate and cherish young children.

Tuesday's downtown Month of the Young Child parade at 10 a.m. will host children, parents and other child-care providers from Steamboat, Hayden, Yampa and Oak Creek.

"It's a celebration of early childhood development to generate awareness," said Renee Donahue, a community liaison specialist for First Impressions of Routt County. "We want to focus public attention on needs of young children and families."

Children, and those with children, are welcome to participate in the hour parade between Seventh to Ninth streets downtown. Many will dress in costumes for a specific theme of their choice to celebrate childhood and child care.

"We try to encourage business people downtown to come out and wave to the kids," Donahue said.

Jenica Walker, parade organizer for the past two years, said children will get a chance to look at and learn about fire trucks with one presented at the end of Ninth Street. Yampa Valley Sound also will be playing children's music.

"It's a good time of year to promote our kids," Walker said. "To show off their schools and be with their friends."

From independent surveying contractors in Denver, 500 of the 10,000 voters in Routt County were called last week to answer survey questions pertaining to First Impressions.

Donahue said First Impressions conducted the survey because it is the Month of the Young Child.

Through the survey, First Impressions wants to assess the awareness that people in the community have of the nonprofit organization, and Month of the Young Child supports that initiative, Donahue said.

This survey also may give First Impressions the answers it needs to hopefully put forth a ballot initiative for a half-cent sales tax for early childhood education, Donahue said.

The Month of the Young Child has been recognized on a national level and will be adopted in Steamboat Springs by the county commissioners today through proclamations from each city and the county.

Instead of going overboard with events, Donahue said First Impressions will focus only on a few things and give them more attention.

First Impressions is a nonprofit community board focused on all aspects of early childhood care and education.

"The goal is to foster an understanding and support for the essential role that quality teachers and programs play in the development of young children," Donahue said.

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