EllieAna Hale
Community Engagement Intern & Reporter

The Week of the Young Child, running from April 8th to 12th, is not just a date marked on the calendar for Della Lamb Community Services — it’s an opportunity for a week of fun, connection, and learning, championed by Joni Weis, Director of the Early Learning Program.

As the Week of the Young Child approaches, the excitement within Della Lamb Community Center at 500 Woodland Avenue is palpable. This nationally recognized event, brought forward by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a time to honor early learning, young children, their families, and the educators who teach them. 

Della Lamb’s initiative of taking place within this event allows them to take a place in a larger picture of early education. 

“I want everyone to know about us,” Weis said. “I want to be a big part of the community.” 

Weis’ dedication to building a brighter future for the community’s children is at the heart of Della Lamb’s mission, a nonprofit organization that has been a pillar of support for the Northeast neighborhood since its founding in 1897 when Della Cochrane Lamb began providing child care for Italian immigrant families from her home on E. 5th Street. .

From First Responder Day on Monday, April 8th,  where local heroes will make an entrance at 9 a.m., to Tuney Tuesday’s musical parade that starts at 10 a.m. and runs up one side then down the other of the now gated and safe Woodland Avenue, the week is filled with activities that celebrate the vibrant spirit of the community. 

Wednesday brings “Work-Together Wednesday,” an opportunity for children to engage in collaborative projects, fostering teamwork and creativity. 

Thursday shines with “Culture Day,” inviting client families to share their diverse backgrounds with food, stories, and artifacts from their native countries, creating a tapestry of cultures within the classrooms.

The Week culminates with “Literacy Day” on Friday, where families participate by signing up to read a book to their child’s classroom at the Della Lamb Charter School. It’s a fitting way to end a week dedicated to nurturing a love for learning and celebrating the richness of the community.

Looking ahead, Weis has ambitious plans to make the Week of the Young Child a staple event at Della Lamb, growing it even further to impact more lives. 

“I want to be a beacon for anybody who needs help,” Weis said, underlining her commitment to creating a brighter future for all.

As the countdown to the Week of the Young Child begins, Della Lamb Community Services stands ready to welcome all who wish to join in the celebration. 

“I want them to have moments of feeling very special because I know that some of them go home to not so special environments,” Weis said. 

Serving children six weeks old to those who are about to start kindergarten, Della Lamb seeks to celebrate the children that make their early education program flourish. 

Whether it’s sharing a cultural tradition, playing a tune, or simply embracing the joy of learning, the Week of the Young Child promises to be a testament to the power of community coming together for the betterment of its youngest members.