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April 22-28 marks the week that Halifax Community College's (HCC) Early Childhood Department celebrates both the 40th anniversary of the college and the Week of the Young Child. The Early Childhood Education program traces its beginnings to 1971 with the advent of the Educational Assistant program.

Martha Bowers and Nancy Mosely were the program's first instructors and are largely responsible for the program's continued success. Since that time and in response to the changing field of early childhood education, the program has undergone many changes and today offers two Associate in Applied Science degrees and one diploma.

Graduates of the program include teacher assistants in area public schools, lead teachers in child care centers, owner/operators of childcare centers/family childcare homes, and directors. Alumni have also gone on to earn bachelor degrees.

The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize the needs of young children and thank educators and others involved in building better futures for all children. The week is celebrated across the country by hundreds of local organizations working to improve opportunities for all young children.

During the week, HCC Early Childhood personnel have planned several activities. On Monday, there will be an informational booth set up in the student center to raise awareness of the importance of quality childcare both in the home and outside the home. On Tuesday, volunteers from the Early Childhood club will put on a skit for the children in the childcare center. On Wednesday, lunches for childcare center teachers will be provided and on Friday, staff will host a reception to honor the program's beginnings and those responsible for it. On Saturday, personnel are planning a Yard Sale with proceeds used to send a child to 4-H camp.

Graduates and former students are invited to the reception on Friday, April 27 at 2:00 p.m., in Building 600, Room 602. An RSVP to attend is requested. Call (252) 536-7245 or 538-4333, or email brownbt@halifaxcc.edu or  campbells@halifaxcc.edu to RSVP.