First Impressions sponsors discussion

— The future of young children is the focus of a public forum tonight in Hayden.

First Impressions of Routt County is sponsoring the informal discussion for parents of young children, people who provide child care in their homes and anyone else interested in the direction of early childhood education in Hayden.

First Impressions Director Renee Donahue said the forum has been in the making for some time.

The county wants to know where the Hayden community sees its early childhood education offerings headed, she said.

"This has been a goal of First Impressions in all communities," Donahue said.

County Commissioner Doug Monger and Debbie Alpe, who works with school districts in the county to build a relationship between preschools and elementary schools, will attend the forum.

The county wants to ensure that children are prepared socially and academically for elementary school.

The public forum provides an opportunity for parents, early childhood education professionals and residents to talk about the transition from preschool to kindergarten.

Donahue described the forum as a brainstorming session to foster new ideas about school readiness and quality programs for infants to kindergarteners.

"We're hoping that we bring some people out," said said. "We're hoping ... we can get the community to talk about the things they would like to see happening."

Donahue would also like to draw on Hayden residents' suggestions for organizing events in town that correlate with the Month of the Young Child in April.

The discussion begins at 6 p.m. in the Hayden Valley Elementary cafeteria. Childcare is available for those who attend.

Donahue encouraged people who plan to participate in the forum to call 870-5270 to ensure enough pizza and dessert is provided.

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