Last week, the Jim Thorpe Area School District's Pre-Kindergarten Counts program took part in the Week of the Young Child, which is an annual, national celebration.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children sponsors the celebration.

Kate Harleman is the JTASD Pre-K Counts teacher for both Penn Kidder Campus and L.B. Morris Elementary School. She said that the Week of the Young Child is about celebrating young children and early childhood education.

"Early childhood education is the building blocks for a child's learning," stated Harleman.

She went on to discuss that early childhood education is important because of how pivotal learning is in the early years of a child. In early childhood education, children learn the basic skills that they will use to grow and develop as they continue their education. The Week of the Young Child is about celebrating and bringing awareness for early childhood education.

Last week, Penn Kidder and L.B. Morris Pre-K Counts students celebrated with themes for each different day. The themes were Dot Day, Teddy Bear Day, Pirate Day, and Kite Day.

The students did crafts and activities that went along with each day's theme.

The students went on a treasure hunt; they brought their teddy bears to school; they made kites out of recycled materials in honor of Earth Day; and many other activities.

Guest readers also came in to read to the students.

On Thursday, there was a Family Fun Night held at Penn Kidder, which featured children's music by 'Nina Music.'

On Friday, at both Penn Kidder and L.B. Morris there was a luncheon held for the Pre-K Counts students and their families. The students prepared the lunches and they were able to enjoy lunch together with their families.

The Jim Thorpe Area Pre-K Counts program is a state grant-funded program. The Pre-K Counts program began in JTASD in 2008. It is available for children age 3 to age 5.

The JTASD Pre-K Counts program will be accepting applications for students. Interested parents can contact the district office for more information and guidelines.