JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A week-long celebration for children ended with a concert and parade while encouraging kids to get outside and play.
The Children's Development and Research Center on the A-State campus celebrated Arkansas Children's Week from April 24 through 28.
Lori Pollard, director of the Children's Development and Research Center, said this year's activities focused on getting outside.
"Digging and playing in the mud and in the dirt, and children don't get to do that as much these days, and the emphasis needs to be back on that," Pollard said. "That's how they develop their gross motor skills, their fine motor skills, their social skills."
Friday, members of the Sound of the Natural State and Howl gave the children an outdoor concert and led a parade around the playground.
The children helped the band by playing their handmade instruments.
While the week concluded with help from A-State, Pollard said the week has been full of special guests reading and playing with the children.
"We've had steppers from the A-State campus," Pollard said. "We've had the football players, the soccer team, the baseball team, and they've just taken the kids outside and played."
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, a senator, fire chief, and Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott also visited for Arkansas Children's Week.
Pollard said the children have been excited all week and happy to be outside.
She hopes others will realize the importance of early childhood education.
"If you ever see a way you can help an early childhood facility, please do so," Pollard said. "If you can vote for more funding, if you can go volunteer, if you can support them in any way it's essential."
Arkansas Children's Week coincides with the Week of the Young Child.
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