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OCAP celebrates the Week of the Young Child#039;

The Organized Community Action Program (OCAP) celebrated the &uot;Week of the Young Child&uot; with a special proclamation ceremony at its School Highlands Road facility, Wednesday, April 15, at 10 a.m.

&uot;The &uot;Week of the Young Child&uot; is April 14-18, and is a time to focus on young children and the benefits they derive from early structured programs, such as the ones offered through OCAP,&uot; said OCAP Family Service Specialist Cindy Smith.

Councilman Jeddo Bell represented Mayor Dexter McLendon in making the proclamation at the ceremony, which was attended by members of OCAP’s Even Start, HeadStart, Bright Beginners and Early Intervention classes.

Bell handed out signed certificates of proclamation to each classes’ director. Accepting the proclamations were Sabrina Senn for Even Start, Kay Armstrong for Bright Beginners, Minnie Peterson for Early Intervention and OCAP Child Services Specialist Dorothy Jordan for Head Start.

The proclamation read: &uot;Whereas the Greenville [Even Start, Bright Beginnings, Head Start, Early Intervention] and other local organizations, in conjunction with the National Association of Education of Young Children, are joining together to celebrate the Week of the Young Child, and whereas, by recognizing the need for high-quality early childhood services for all children and their families within our community, these groups strive to upgrade the quality and availability of such services, and whereas the future of our community relies on the very essence of the early childhood experiences provided to young children today, and whereas high-quality early childhood services encourage a worthy commitment to our future, therefore, I, Dexter McLendon, Mayor of the City of Greenville, Alabama, do hereby proclaim April 14-18, 2003, as the &uot;Week of the Young Child&uot; and urge all citizens to recognize and support the needs of young children in our community.&uot;

&uot;I am so excited to be a part of this ceremony,&uot; Councilman Bell said. &uot;It’s exciting to see programs of this nature, of this magnitude, that involves so many young people and so many interested people who are working with them. Thank you for your hard work.&uot;

Joining Bell for the ceremony were Probate Judge Steve Norman, Greenville Police Lieutenant Anthony Barganier, Greenville Police D.A.R.E. Officer Lamar Grayson, Greenville Fire Chief Mike Phillips and Greenville Asst. Fire Chief Jeffrey Presley.

Smith said the ceremony was important to highlight young children’s needs and the needs of their families.

&uot;This program has been in place for approximately 15 years, originally through the Head Start program,&uot; Jordan said. &uot;It is important to focus on the early childhood development of young children and we hope this week will make more people aware of our programs and the importance of enrolling their children in them. We have more than one program – so we can serve the community, the parent and the child through any one of them.&uot;