"It encourages kids to learn art and be creative," said Weiland Lei, Library director. "That is the purpose of the exhibit."
The idea had been presented to Lei by Claire Warnock principal and West New York liaison with the day care providers of the Early Childhood Program.
"She collected all the pieces, and then we decided to present them to the public," said Lei. "Present the children's art to the people."
"It started with the Week of the Young Child, sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children," said Warnock of West New York. "Our program is about five years old, so we [referring to herself and Mrs. Sires, superintendent] decided this would be a nice little chance to show off our children."
Flyers were sent out to all the teachers throughout the district, requesting that they choose one child from each classroom to submit a piece for the exhibit.
"We had our faculty meeting about three weeks ago, and the children do use a lot of daily art activities in the classroom," said Warnock. "It was the choosing that was really difficult."
With only about three weeks to prepare, everyone from the teachers to the parents has been really cooperative in getting things done. Warnock believes it was the best way to keep things simple.
"If you set things up to far ahead of time it becomes and entity of its own, and takes on other meanings," said Warnock. "Everyone has been very cooperative and went around picking up the paintings."
The theme for the art exhibit is spring, so the children handed in a lot of colorful projects that included rainbows, flowers, and bugs, all their depictions of spring and rebirth.
There are approximately 40 pieces done by these pre-school kids that include everything from finger-painting to watercolors. The exhibit is expected to run for about three to four weeks, with a special reception to be held Wednesday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. All are welcomed to attend. The pre-school will also be receiving a proclamation that day from the Mayor of West New York Albio Sires. Certificates will also be distributed to the kids for participating in the art exhibit.
"It's more of just showing what 3 and 4-year-olds can do; it's not a competition," said Warnock. "Some of them are remarkable, and we wanted something nice to celebrate spring."
Warnock is also hoping that this exhibit will also encourage children and parents to visit more often.
"We're encouraging the families to come up and see our library, and see what we have to offer," said Warnock.
Honoring America's youth
The Week of the Young Child honors more than 35 million children from birth to 8 years old. Celebrations will be occurring all over Hudson County and the country all week. It also honors the parents, teachers, and others who help children make the most out of their early years.
According to a press release from the Superintendent of Schools, Anthony Yankovich, "Research and experience clearly show that children's earliest years are crucial learning years. Week of the Young Child is a chance to celebrate the learning opportunities of young children, and to recognize the responsibilities we share for helping them make the most out of their early years."
Registration for the 2004-2005 school year with the Early Childhood Program is also currently in progress.