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Put the wee ones first

Dear Editor:

In the small town of Reggio Emilia, Italy, right after World War II, the town inhabitants built a school for the children as an investment in the future. They built their school with a small amount of money they received from the Italian government ” money that was earmarked to help restore the sense of community which was lost during the war. The townspeople easily decided that without a quality school for the children, there would not be a community. Knowing that our children are our greatest resource ” not only for the future, but for today, men and women worked side by side, brick by brick, until their school was complete. Fifty years later, Reggio Emilia is visited from professionals from around the world to learn about the unique curriculum and teaching approach that has improved the quality of early childhood education.

In our Roaring Fork Valley, we are lucky and privileged to have an organization called Kids First. Kids First is committed to the young children, their families and the early childhood centers of our valley, They offer tuition assistance, parent education, continuing education for our teachers, funding support as well as quality grant moneys for centers. It’s the goal of early childhood professionals to make our communities aware of our young families and their children ” their needs, benefits of early education, family support and professional development. Wouldn’t ft be nice if we all could figure out a way to help all of our children; not just children between Aspen to Glenwood? Eventually spreading farther downvalley, then to all children in Colorado, then all of the United States ” and then the world? Reggio Emilia took a bleak situation and created a lasting benefit to all young children ” no goal is too big when it’s our children that reap the benefits.

Susie Arbaney

Early childhood teacher and director


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