CLAYTON CULTURE NIGHT: THIS IS US – The Know

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:44 am


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CLAYTON EARLY LEARNING COMMUNITY MARKS THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH A CELEBRATION OF INDIVIDUALITY AND CULTURAL AWARENESS Genesis Aguilar Pino, left, daughter of Jacqueline Pino Valenzuela, a child family educator in the Play and Learn community-based program at Clayton Early Learning, performed traditional Mexican dance with Kamille Pescador, a former Clayton Play and Learn student, at Clayton Culture Night.

Clayton Early Learning has its own special tradition when it comes to observing the holidays. Clayton Culture Night, the schools largest event of the year, recently celebrated the richly diverse individuals that comprise the Clayton Early Learning community.This years event was attended by 250 children, parents and Clayton staff.

Centered on the theme of This is Us, the celebration encompassed the unique life experiences that shape the students, families and staff as individuals and create community within the walls of the school and its early childhood programs, as well as the larger community of Denver and Colorado.

The event included an array of hands-on cultural cooking and crafting activities, as well as Mexican regional dance performances, and an African American storyteller.

Building and celebrating both self-awarenessand a sense of belonging is critical for healthy development in young children, leading to important socialemotional, cognitive, and language and literacy skills, commented Becky Crowe, president and CEO at Clayton Early Learning.This beautiful celebration is our way of honoring the individuality of everyone who is part of the Clayton community: children, their families, and our dedicated professional team.

Foods representing different family traditions were prepared in the Clayton kitchen, and staff and families also brought traditional foods of their own to share.

One particularly popular ethnic food was served by Clayton Teacher Edwina Annan, who teamed up with family and friends to share traditional foods from her Ghanaian roots. The team cooked all day to prepare Omotuo(rice balls) with peanut soup, and Jollof, a rice and chicken dish.I love cooking with my family, and we were happy to share our traditions with the Clayton community, said Annan. Im mastering these dishes so we dont lose the connection for future generations.

Clayton Early Learning is a hub for Colorados innovative work in early childhood development. Committed to the belief that healthy early childhood development offers one of the most powerful levers for ending poverty and inequality, Clayton applies a unique two-generation approach that demonstrates whats possible in the early years, and the positive impact that it has for children and families over time. Home to Colorados only Educare school, a nationally recognized model supporting children from birth to age 5, and their families, Clayton also influences systems change through research and evaluation services, professional development for educators and leaders, and policy and advocacy work at the state and federal levels.

With a professional team of teachers, social workers and health professionals, Clayton directly serves 500 families living below the poverty line, and 20,000 children are impacted through statewide systems-change work. Visitwww.claytonearlylearning.orgfor more information.

Susan Hagar is a public relations and communications consultant, and the owner of Hagar Communications.

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CLAYTON CULTURE NIGHT: THIS IS US - The Know

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:44 am

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