Press Release - May 3, 2011

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

Early Child Care Programs Engage Young Children in Creating a Display of Feelings

Dignitaries help reinforce the message Early Childhood Mental Health Matters for a Lifetime

WILMINGTON –The Delaware Children’s Department and its Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services (PBH) are engaging children in daycare programs in a special activity on feelings. The purpose of the lesson plan is to reinforce the importance of indentifying and addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of young children and their families before problems are deeply entrenched and require restrictive, costly intervention.

Six early care sites will be featured –– a home care and an early care and education center in Sussex County on May 4; Kent County on May 5; and New Castle County on May 6; with an additional 200 locations throughout the state creating a wall display to showcase the children’s expressions of the newly created “I Feel … Feelings from A to Z” preschool curriculum.

The early child care events conclude a week-long schedule of activities PBH held across the state and throughout the first week in May to raise awareness about the importance of children’s mental health, provide information on how to access services, decrease stigma around mental health challenges, and promote that positive mental health is essential to a child's healthy development from birth.

The participating centers received a custom-designed social and emotional preschool coloring activity kit to use with the children and created a wall collage using the children’s completed artwork. Following are the featured locations where the special awareness activity on feelings will be showcased:

May 4:

8:30  a.m.
Marlette R. Lofland
20255 Wilson Farm Road
Bridgeville, DE

10:30  a.m.
Beach Babies
31169 Learning Lane
Lewes, DE
Mayor Jim Ford will participate.

May 5:

8:30  a.m.
Sandy Steele
318 E. North Street
Smyrna, DE 19977

10 a.m
Expanding Our Kids World, Inc.     
3460 S. Dupont Blvd.
Smyrna, DE  19977
Secretary Rapposelli will participate.

May 6:


8:30  a.m.
Rose Currington
3009 4th Ave.
Claymont, DE  19703

10 a.m.
Latin American Community Center
403 N. Van Buren Street
Wilmington, DE  19805
PBH Director Susan Cycyk will participate.

The Children’s Department provides services to children who have been abused, neglected, are dependent, have mental health or substance problems, and/or have been adjudicated delinquent by the Courts. Through the Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services, the Department reaches out to children, youth and their families to eliminate the need for state intervention and to facilitate transitions of children in care back to the community. For more information, please visit www.kids.delaware.gov.