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Oakland Heights celebrates children

By By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
April 22, 2004
Oakland Heights Elementary School Principal Kim Benton believes a child's education begins long before the student enters kindergarten.
That's why Benton, along with other members of the Mississippi Early Childhood Association, distributed 25,000 stickers to day care facilities and elementary schools throughout the state in recognition of the national Week of the Young Child.
Benton said child care is vital to an area's work force, and it shouldn't be taken for granted and this week is a time to recognize child care providers. She also said preparing students to enter school is the best way to put them on a path to success.
The theme of this year's Week of the Young Child is "Children's Opportunities, Our Responsibilities."
Jan Miller, principal of Clarkdale Attendance Center in Lauderdale County, said her school will celebrate Week of the Young Child the second week in May after students have completed the Mississippi Curriculum Test.
Some of the ways Benton and Oakland Heights are celebrating the week is by distributing free books to students in kindergarten through the third-grade; encouraging students to read instead of watching television; and visiting day cares.
The school also will host an early childhood education conference Saturday for Head Start workers and child care providers from Lauderdale, Clarke, Neshoba, Kemper, Newton and Forrest counties. Benton said her school hosts the event every year.
Representatives from the University of Southern Mississippi and the state Health Department will be among the guest speakers.
She said teachers can use the conference to earn continuing education credits. Benton said the fee for the conference is $15, and anyone who wants to attend should contact her at 484-4983 to register.