School readiness and success will be in the spotlight at the 28th Annual Children’s Festival on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. in Baker Park, Frederick, MD.  This free event is being held in conjunction with the national Month of the Young Child and is open to Frederick County’s young children and their families. Approximately 65 area businesses and organizations will offer hands-on activities and entertainment for the children to enjoy while their parents learn more about school readiness and local services for children and families. Children can look forward to the ever popular goop and gak, pine cone critters, gymnastics fun, and a creepy crawler sensory table. Kids can also hop, jump, crawl and climb their way through an obstacle course as well as practice hockey skills.  The Festival will feature entertainment ‘for kids, by kids’ at the bandshell throughout the day.

This year the PNC Grow up Great-“Learning is All Around Me!” Mobile Learning Adventure is back! The Mobile Learning Adventure (MLA) is a traveling exhibit that provides an opportunity for parents and caregivers to learn about the importance of early childhood education while they engage in fun activities with their children.  A part of PNC Grow up Great – a $350 million, multi-year initiative that began in 2004 to help children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life – the MLA includes interactive kiosks and the “When I Grow Up” station, where kids dress up as different professionals and have their picture superimposed on an appropriate background.  In addition, parents can take home activity books and learning kits that demonstrate how to take everyday moments and turn them into learning opportunities.

In addition to school readiness, the festival focuses on the critical role that parents and the early childhood community play in preparing children to enter school ready to learn and be successful in school.  Last year over 3,000 participants enjoyed the Festival—all for free!

Festival activities will be surrounding Baker Park’s Bandshell if the sun is shining, and in the William R. Talley Recreation Center if it rains.  Food vendors will be available, or families can bring a picnic lunch. Child Care Choices, a program of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County, the Interagency Early Childhood Committee, and the City of Frederick, sponsor the Festival.

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Child Care Choices, a program of the Mental Health Association of Frederick County, conducts professional development for early childhood educators, offers capacity building for quality improvements and onsite assistance from behavior specialists.  For more information, call Child Care Choices at 301-662-4549, find us on Facebook, or go to www.childcarechoices.info.