WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — President Buu Nygren signed a proclamation that celebrates the young child.
The Week of the Young Child is a celebration that focuses public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children first established the annual celebration in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life.
President Nygren met with Dr. Harold G. Begay, the head of the Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education, or DODE, representatives from First Things First and his staff at the Navajo Nation Office of the President and Vice President stateroom.
The President praised DODE for their dedication to early childhood education.
“It’s very critical for our kids from zero to five years old to get the best education that requires a lot of patience and learning,” said President Nygren. “So again, I really appreciate the different organizations that are represented within DODE that are working tirelessly every single day to make sure that kids that don’t have parents, kids that do have parents, or grandparents that are raising their grandchildren; that they have the tools necessary to make sure that we can help provide and provide guidance for their children.”
The President added he’s looking forward to his administration helping DODE create a policy that improves early childhood education.
“Those are the critical times for them to learn our language, learn our culture, and be the possible best possible Navajo they can be,” said President Nygren.
Dr. Begay thanked the President and presented a token of his appreciation for recognizing the Week of the Young Child and offered a small poster containing Navajo traditional teachings.
The Week of the Young Child is from April 3-7 and to celebrate, DODE has a variety of events that take place at the Window Rock Sports Center at the fair grounds.
On Wednesday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. a community resource fair will be held, along with child developmental screenings, family fun activities, door prizes and giveaways.
Then on Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., an in-person event making arts and crafts will be held at the Window Rock Sports Center. Materials will be available at the event.
To conclude the Week of the Young Child, the Navajo Nation Early Childhood Speaker Series will highlight early childhood initiatives featuring the Navajo Nation Division of Behavioral & Mental Health Services, First Things First Navajo Nation Region, and Navajo Project I-LAUNCH. The virtual-only event will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. A Zoom link for the event is: https://bit.ly/42mj2VE.
Photos: (1) Navajo Nation President Dr. Buu Nygren signs the Week of the Young Child Proclamation on Monday in Window Rock; (2) Navajo Nation President Dr. Buu Nygren, center, poses with Dr. Harold G. Begay, and Department of Diné Education staff members on Monday in Window Rock.