NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Nearly 300 youngsters swarmed Tennessee State University’s indoor practice facility to participate in activities celebrating the Week of the Young Child.
Three to 5-year-olds from several local schools participated in the April 13 event hosted by TSU’s Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Center for Learning Sciences.
Each April, the National Association for the Education of Young Children designates a week to focus on children.
At TSU, students and faculty from the university’s departments were asked to develop activities for the children related to their respective areas of study. Organizers say they want kids to build their skills, while also having fun.
“This is the age that it begins,” said Dr. Margaret Machara, who is in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. “If you can get them excited about learning, and excited about concepts in a play environment, then they’re going to do better in school, and better throughout.”
Activities included building a solar car and understanding how it operates, and learning about different plants, such as the African violet. The kids also learned lessons about health care and safety, such as washing their hands, and when to call 911.
Ashlie York, a student in the Career Mobility Program in TSU’s School of Nursing, participated in the event. She said even at their young age, kids should understand that “they have resources to protect themselves and their family.”
“If you see a stranger come into your house, or someone else’s house, call 911,” said York, who works in the emergency department at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville. “If your family member is on the ground, and they can’t breathe, call 911. We want them to understand what is an emergency, and that they’re able to do something to help.”
Parents who attended the event were given a booklet on activities they can do to help their child continue to learn.
Tara House brought her 5-year-old daughter to the event and said she plans to share what she learned with other parents.
“This program is very beneficial,” House said. “I think everybody is enjoying themselves, and learning at the same time.”
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With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.