Celebrating Week of the Young Child


On hand for the proclamation signing that day were (Front, L to R) Weakley County Schools Elementary Education Supervisor Terri Stephenson, Dresden Elementary School Pre-K Teacher Marla Rook, Weakley County Schools Preschool Consultant Karen Fowler (who also works to promote the Week of the Young Child), students J.R. Thomas, Troy Hunyh, Jax Black, Allyson Sadler, Amelia Wilson, (Middle, L to R) Lillian Burroughs, Preston Williams, Cambri Wilkey, Leah Garner, Paola Rodriguez, Bynum, Dresden Elementary School Principal Melanie Needham, Dresden Elementary School Assistant Pre-K Teacher Cindy Mitchell, (Back, L to R) students Coralee Burroughs, Brighton Smith, Caiden Harrison, Aniston Sands and Adleigh Sands.

For half of a century, the nation has celebrated and recognized the Week of the Young Child. Weakley County has followed suit in that recognition and celebration and Weakley County Mayor Jake Bynum continued the tradition of dedicating the same week to the youth of the community and proclaimed the 51st Week of the Young Child in front of an audience of pre-schoolers at Dresden Elementary School Thursday, April 7.

That week (April 2-8) was set aside as a time to celebrate children and advance the early childhood education profession. Bynum stood before the pre-k students that morning to announce the proclamation and field questions from the youth.

When asked if they knew what a county mayor was, one of the students replied that it was like the real mayor. Bynum told the children by signing the proclamation in gold ink, it made it a very important document. That week, Bynum also joined other mayors across the state declaring their support for proposed legislation in Tennessee that would use a portion of the state’s sports betting revenues (40 percent) to fund pre-k expansions in school systems across the state.

Bynum said research has shown the first years are the most important for future learning. “We know there are 5,400 students who would qualify for pre-k and they don’t have a seat at the table,” Bynum said, adding the literacy rates for third-graders also correlate with workforce development. The county mayor is a part of the Tennessee for Quality Early Education Mayors’ Council.