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Clairton marks Month of Young Child with parade, assembly

Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Clairton elementary students and staff celebrate the Month of the Young Child by dancing with Big Bird, portrayed by sophomore Krislynn Jones, during a Wednesday morning parade and performance.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Clairton elementary students and staff celebrate the Month of the Young Child by dancing with Big Bird, portrayed by sophomore Krislynn Jones, during a Wednesday morning parade and performance.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News - Clairton twins, from left, Kenneth and Vester Rowe are encouraged by principal Magi Berger as their second-grade class performs the inspirational song 'What I Am' with fellow elementary students on Wednesday.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News</em></div>Clairton twins, from left, Kenneth and Vester Rowe are encouraged by principal Magi Berger as their second-grade class performs the inspirational song 'What I Am' with fellow elementary students on Wednesday.
By Jennifer R. Vertullo
Thursday, April 17, 2014, 1:41 a.m.
 

Clairton City School District encourages teachers, parents and the community to celebrate early childhood education.

The elementary school hosted its annual Month of the Young Child parade and assembly on Wednesday, inviting parents and city officials into the school. Dressed in a rainbow of colors representing each classroom, students in kindergarten through second grade marched through the halls and performed in the gymnasium.

“The kids work so hard all year, and this is a nice, fun reward,” said Bethany Sporio, whose children are in kindergarten and second grade. “They are the center of attention today. They're getting a jump start on spring break with a celebration that's all about them.”

Elementary principal Magi Berger said early education — even before kindergarten — is important to a child's development and success, and having community support behind that knowledge pushes students even further.

“It's important for us to get as many parents and community members into our school as we can to spread the word that we are educating our children,” Berger said.

The Month of the Young Child is a Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children extension of the national Week of the Young Child, which began in 1971 to focus public attention on the needs of young children and families. It promotes early learning and literacy through pre-K and elementary programs.

Each year, Clairton City School District invites Allegheny Intermediate Unit Head Start classrooms and other preschool programs to take part in its parade and programming.

“This has been a yearly tradition that allows these preschool programs to see what Clairton has to offer,” school board president Richard Livingston said. “We have families here, and we are showing them that Clairton (City) School District is alive and well.”

Students performed “What I Am,” an inspirational song about their growth. Berger said the song will become a Clairton tradition.

“We're going to teach it every year,” she said. “It will become a school song that students can sing for every special occasion.”

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or jvertullo@tribweb.com.

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