Paint the town bluePublished 9:27pm Saturday, February 23, 2013
For breast cancer, the town paints itself pink; for heart awareness, it’s red. But for the young children of our community, supporters are being asked to paint the town blue.
The annual Week of the Young Child takes place April 14–19, culminating in a parade of the smallest residents and their caregivers on the final day. This year, blue is the official color of the parade, and blue T-shirts will be sold to shine a spotlight on young children.
“Really, it’s just a time to pause and think about what are the issues that affect our children and their families. How can we be sure we’re focusing on child health, their safety and their overall wellbeing?” said Catherine Keech, program services supervisor for Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children. “How can we as a community support the adults who care for children? So that they do start school ready to learn, which ultimately leads lifelong success.”
Parade day has historically involved many children’s activities at Washington’s waterfront Festival Park and the participation of downtown merchants blowing bubbles as the parade passes down Main Street. This year, Keech said, the Week of the Young Child community-wide committee came up with the idea of a show of solidarity by wearing the color blue April 19. That’s where the T-shirts come into play.
Children’s T-shirts will be sold for $3 each; adults for $8 each (XXL for $10 each), and sponsorships are being offered to offset the cost of the shirts. Blue-ribbon sponsors, at $200 each, receive two T-shirts, business name and logo on the back of the T-shirts, a website link from the partnership’s website and Facebook recognition; yellow-ribbon sponsors, at $100 each, receive one T-shirt, business name on the back and website recognition. Keech said that, so far, Care-O-World Enrichment Center; Rhonda Cardinale, psychologist; Rutledge Mini Storage and Plantation House restaurant have signed on as sponsors. Sponsorships are offered until March 4.
Keech said the parade and after-celebration are truly community-wide events, open to the public, involving home-schooled children, as well as those enrolled in public, private and faith-based early childhood programs. Some come from as far away as Mattamuskeet to join in the festivities that include a Pamlico Joe performance.
“We want to have fun because we believe children can learn while they play,” Keech said.
For more information about Paint the Town Blue and sponsorships, visit the Beaufort-Hyde Partnership for Children’s website at www.beaufortcountykids.org or call Keech at 252-975-4647, ext. 7.