SHERIDAN — Several events and private activities are in the works to celebrate children this week as the Month of the Military Child continues and the Week of the Young Child commences.

Wyoming recognizes April as the Month of the Military Child and Sheridan County participates in honoring the sacrifices of military parents and their children through efforts including “Purple Up Day,” scheduled for Wednesday. All residents are encouraged to wear purple to show support for military children.

The Department of Defense and the University of Wyoming Extension Service have had a partnership for more than 25 years to support military personnel and their communities in which they live.

“Military children look the same to teachers, friends and the community after a parent deploys, but their lives have changed dramatically,” said Johnathan Despain, UW Extension State 4-H military liaison. “We want to help them connect with other youths in similar situations and to use the Department of Defense/Cooperative Extension and 4-H Military Partnership initiatives as a way to link with other youths in the community.”

For more information on the partnership, local events or services, contact Despain at 766-5170 or

In other celebrations of our youth, this week is the “Week of the Young Child,” an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

NAEYC serves as a voice in America advocating for education beginning at birth and offers a national accreditation system that has set the standards for early childhood education since 1985.

According to NAEYC, the purpose of the “Week of the Young Child” is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

Locally, First Light Children’s Center is NAEYC accredited and they have several events planned for their young students throughout the week to celebrate.

“The Week of the Young Child is a time to recognize that children’s opportunities are our responsibilities, and to recommit ourselves to ensuring that each and every child experiences the type of early environment — at home, at child care, at school, and in the community — that will promote their early learning,” First Light Executive Director Maureen Metcalf said.

Public events for young children at Sheridan Fulmer Public Library this week include baby story time on Tuesday and Friday at 10 a.m. and preschool story time Wednesday and toddler story time Thursday, each with two sessions at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Parents, care providers and community members are encouraged to participate in the efforts privately as well. Annually, NAEYC assigns lessons and topics to each day of the week. This year the lessons include Music Monday (focused on music and movement), Taco Tuesday (focused on health and fitness), Work Together Wednesday (focused on team building), Artsy Thursday (using art to problem solve and create) and Family Friday (encouraging the telling of family stories).

For more information or activity suggestions, see