Fair Haven Families Stroll
by Allyx Schiavone | May 10, 2011 11:22 am
Posted to: Citizen Contributions, Schools, Fair Haven
(Allyx Schiavone helped organize a family event in Fair Haven this past weekend for early childhood education. She sent in this write-up.)
Leaf Rubbings. Picture books. Crayons and Congo Drums. The stuff of a preschool classroom took to the park on Saturday May 7, for the first annual Fair Haven Family Stroll – a festival and fundraiser for quality early childhood education in the Fair Haven area. The event drew hundreds to Quinnipiac River Park – for a day of family-friendly activities including face painting, a Hispanic Health Council puppet show, kids yoga, a Drums no Guns drum circle, dance with Sarah Kennedy, sand art, free books from Read to Grow and the Fair Haven Library and a sacred tree designed by the mastermind behind the Peabody Museum Dinosaur, Michael Anderson.
This pioneering joint venture was organized by two local early childhood education programs – Alexis Hill Montessori and Friends Center for Children with the support of two other programs: Centro San Jose and Farnam Neighborhood House – in order to raise awareness about the acute need for quality in early childhood education.
National research indicates that quality early care and education both in and out of the home during the first five years of life can make an enormous difference in a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development and have a decisive impact on brain development and cognitive functioning. Access to high quality early child care is closely associated with improved outcomes for older youths and young adults – higher school achievement and lowered school dropout rates, teen pregnancy rates and rates of participation in juvenile crime.” (Source: Report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Early Child Care and Education)
“Creating an environment that supports healthy development in early childhood is more effective than treating problems at a later age. The economic benefits of quality early childhood interventions are significant- producing a $14-17 return for every dollar invested.” (Source: The New Haven Early Childhood Plan)
The Family Stroll invited participants to invest in quality early childhood education by raising pledges for a stroll around the park. Organizers called for the community to come together to support its’ greatest future asset: children. National, State and Local support is geared for change. As the newly elected governor states, “Studies have long shown that children who receive pre-kindergarten education are more likely to graduate from high school, less likely to repeat a grade or need special education classes, and less likely to be disruptive in the classroom and hinder teaching. The investment we make in pre-K education pay us back dramatically. Cost savings from reduced education expenditures later in life, fewer social service costs, and higher economic earning capacity are significant.” (Taken from the Governor’s policy project-http://danmalloy.com/policy/education)
Sponsors of the event included; First Steps ($500 or more): Casey Family Services, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven and United Way of Greater New Haven, Crawlers ($100 or more):Chiropractic Care Center – 900 Grand Avenue, Fair Haven Furniture , Lynn Smith, Vice President, Start Community Bank and Start Community Bank and Newborn ($25-99): New Haven Friends Meeting (Quaker). Additionally, many other community organizations and businesses also contributed to make the day a success —including Grand Apizza, Grand Vin Wine Shop, CitySeed Farmer’s Market, Fair Haven Health Clinic, New Haven Reads, New Haven Family Alliance, and Mom’s Partnership.
“This is kid heaven! They have snacks, playmates, crafts, books, exercises, sunshine, friends, neighbors, dancing, and super happy musicians who fly kites. All under the watchful eye of a hundred loving parents. A good scene,” said David Baker who brought his three-year-old daughter Maggie out to enjoy the activities.
“What a great way for the Fair Haven community to really come together for their children,” said the Rev. Ryan Mills who lives in the area. “It is a great opportunity for someone new in the neighborhood like us to meet people,” added his wife Kathleen.
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thank you for sharing with the rest of the city what a wonderful event was held in lovely fair haven on saturday. my twins and i, pictured in the last photo, enjoyed the beautiful weather, meeting the other families and learning about the many agencies and groups in the area dedicated to children and families. they especially loved their free book!! we’re already looking forward to next year’s event! and a special thanks to the Chatham square Neighborhood Association for their work in promoting the event - it’s the main reason we knew about it and we’re so glad we didn’t miss it!
posted by: LeeCruz on May 10, 2011 5:56pm
Congrats to the organizers! You make the neighborhood a great place to live and to bring up kids.