USD 470, City of Ark City To Celebrate ‘Week Of The Young Child’ Starting April 1

Pictured left to right, front to back:
Ark City Mayor Diana Spielman; Heard Start Director Tara Taylor; Child Start, Inc. Early Childhood Connections Coordinator April Graham; City-Cowley Health Department Maternal and Child Educator JoJo Olivarez; and Lindsay Wilke, USD 470 Early Literacy Coordinator. (Photo courtesy USD 470)

The USD 470 Early Literacy Initiative is recognizing pivotal partners in early childhood work during the Week of the Young Child, April 1-7.

According to a news release from the Ark City school district Tuesday, the Week of the Young Child is a designation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children that celebrates early learning, young children ages birth through five, and their teachers, families and community.

“These early developmental years are crucial to brain growth, kindergarten readiness and long-term health outcomes,” USD 470 stated.

The City of Ark City released a proclamation declaring Week of the Young Child, recognizing the importance of early childhood investments and the value of the early childhood education workforce.

Ark City early childhood partners who were recognized include: USD 470 PreK, Head Start Cowley County, Cowley County Special Services Cooperative, Reach tiny-K Infant and Toddler Services, City-Cowley County Health Department, Arkansas City Public Library, Arkansas City Recreation Commission, Cowley College Early Childhood Program, Community Health Center in Cowley County, SCK Health, Wood Child Care Center, Ark City licensed in-home childcare providers, ACCA Preschool, First Baptist Church Preschool, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church Preschool.

“These partners are crucial to the healthy development of our youngest children — they are our children’s first teachers alongside parents and caregivers,” USD 470 Early Literacy Coordinator Lindsay Wilke said. “The earlier we reach and support families, the more we set children up for lifelong success outcomes.

“We are grateful for our partners’ expertise and relationships with families.”

This local Week of the Young Child celebration is a part of a larger effort funded by the Kansas Health Foundation to increase literacy in children ages birth through third grade within the community.

The Kansas Health Foundation is a philanthropy dedicated to improving the health of all Kansans. For more information about the Kansas Health Foundation, visit

Caregivers interested in additional literacy development resources can visit to learn about other opportunities.