Families and kids enjoy activities at last year's Week of the Young Child celebration organized by Branford Early Childhood Collaborative on the Branford Green. The celebration returns this year on Saturday, April 26 from noon to 3 p.m. with free activities, entertainment, and fun following the theme Branford Moves! (Photo by Richard Esposito/The Sound
On Saturday, April 26, Branford will be moving as "Branford Moves" takes over the Town Green from noon to 3 p.m. It's part of the Week of the Young Child events organized by Branford Early Childhood Collaborative (BECC), which also includes BECC's One Book, One Town literacy program. Last week, BECC delivered 1,000 copies of the early reader book Little Big Horse: Where's My Bike, to Branford pre-K and kindergarten students. Donations from Branford Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking, ERACE, and the Branford Counseling Center helped sponsor the purchase of the books. On Sunday, April 27, BECC will team with the same organizations and Branford Parks & Recreation to help sponsor a Branford Bike Safety Rodeo from noon to 2p.m. at Branford Community House. Thanks to being named the second-place charitable organization in the recent Chamber Chili Challenge, BECC will be purchasing several bike helmets to raffle off as part of many free raffles and giveaways for kids during the Bike Rodeo (for more rodeo info, call 203-488-8304). But first, BECC will bring Branford Moves to the Green on April 26 from noon to 3 p.m. The afternoon includes free music, showcases, and activities to get kids moving and keep them fit. Families are encouraged to come out and enjoy the fun. It will be a busy day for BECC, as the group begins the morning shepherding the BECC Pre-K Team in the Community Dining Room (CDR) Walk-a-thon. The CDR is generously offering a musical segue between the morning walkathon on the Green (find more info at www.communitydiningroom.org) and the start of Branford Moves at noon. The walk-a-thon's show-tune style live performers, "Starving Artists Tackle Broadway," will sing on the Green through 12:30 p.m. Events set to take place during Branford Moves include a Tisko Elementary School "Tisko Fit" flash mob; a board "Break-a-thon" from event co-sponsor Branford World Champion Taekwondo (each $2 per board donation benefits BECC programming); co-sponsor Steppin' Out leading dancing fun for all; and co-sponsors Kidsteps, Branford School Age Child Care Program, and Camp Invention adding to the fun with the likes of an obstacle course, beach-ball volleyball, hula hooping, and toddler activities to try. During a brief award ceremony that afternoon, local dignitaries will help proclaim it Week of the Young Child in Branford and BECC will give a special Children's Champion award to William Graustein, founder of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund. In addition, representatives of Branford Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking, ERACE and BCC will award prizes to this year's Take a Step Day healthy choices poster contest winners from Branford Public Schools. "The Graustein fund has been a major sponsor of BECC and we're really pleased to have them come to Branford, and to be able to honor Bill Graustein," said BECC Chair Robin Comey. According to the BECC website, BECC works to bring all key stakeholders together who play a crucial role in the development and education of Branford children to create a comprehensive early childhood system. BECC is mainly funded through a partnership grant from Graustein Memorial Fund, the State Department of Education, and The Children's Fund of Connecticut. To close Branford Moves at 3 p.m. on April 26, "we will do our very popular pre-school Art Walk" based on the title read for One Book, One Town, said Comey. "We hang their artwork in windows on Main Street, and everyone gets join the walk to view their works of art." For more information on Branford Moves or to learn more about programs offered by BECC, visit www.branfordbecc.org.