The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize early childhood programs and services.

At the Mid-Valley STEM-CTE Hub, we have identified early learning STEAM as one of our program priorities. For the past two years, MVSCH has provided STEAM-related training support to early childhood providers and educators in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties.

Through these training opportunities, early learning educators explored age-appropriate STEAM curriculum and activities to promote inquiry-based learning opportunities for young children and learn tangible ways to invite young children to observe, explore, investigate, problem-solve, and experiment.
During the first year, over 54 early learning educators in the greater Linn, Benton, and Lincoln county regional area learned and applied curriculum planning skills and age-appropriate early childhood learning environments that support the development of children in the Pre-K classroom potentially impacting over 5,000 children and their families. Twenty-one educators are currently engaged in this program with another anticipated 25 at this spring’s in-person event.

MVSCH is on track to reach approximately 100 Pre-K teachers in Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. This effort has solidified partnerships throughout the three counties and has helped build strong partnerships that have led to the development of a STEAM Conference for Pre-K Educators this fall in Newport. Our effort has been noticed statewide and is considered a best practice among the Oregon STEM Hub Network and efforts will be made in the next biennium to have this effort replicated statewide.