Celebrity Reader Dr. Edith Patterson Celebrates Week of the Young Child
at St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at College of Southern Maryland
Dr. Edith Patterson, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and a former Charles County commissioner, came home to the College of Southern Maryland on April 27, where she read picture books to an attentive group of preschoolers — all sitting criss-cross applesauce —at the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center (CLC) at the College of Southern Maryland. Patterson, formerly a CSM director of Educational Talent Search, shared “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña and art by Christian Robinson and “Stellaluna by Janell Cannon as the celebrity reader for the CLC’s celebration of Week of the Young Child at the La Plata Campus.
Taking time to ask questions about the stories as she read, Patterson and the children ended up discussing a variety of subjects related to the stories — soup kitchens, nocturnal animals, looking for beauty in the world, being friends with those who are different from ourselves and favorite foods. The children learned that Patterson’s favorite food is cheeseburgers.
In addition to her background in education and politics, Patterson is a mother of two as well as a grandmother. She talked to the children about her own boys’ favorite books. She was unfamiliar with the two books selected for her to read, but she liked that, she said. “We’ll learn about them together,” Patterson said to her young listeners.
The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to celebrate early learning, young children, their teachers and families,” said CLC Director Shirley Allen. “However, at the CLC, it’s always the week of the young child. It’s just that we are making it official this week.”
In addition to having Patterson as a celebrity reader, the CLC honored the week by celebrating children and the important milestones they have met at this time in their lives. “Our events for the week included Picasso Day where each child created their work of art (paintings, drawings, crafts, etc.) which was displayed in the center hallway for all to enjoy, and a CLC Fun Day, which involves outdoor games, tricycle riding and sack races,” Allen said.
The St. Charles Children’s Learning Center at CSM has been in operation for more than 10 years and is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education. The center provides CSM students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, quality, child-centered care for more than a 100 students from ages 8 weeks to 12 years old.
The center has 10,000 square feet of learning space, including nine child-centered classrooms, a gymnasium and a prep kitchen. In addition, the center has its own private landscaped playground and access to the campus grounds.
Summer day camps at the center will be offered June 12 through Aug. 31 to engage, educate and entertain through hands-on activities provided in a safe, caring environment. Weekly themes help students test the boundaries of their knowledge as they discover fascinating facts, new areas of interest and lifelong friends.