Parading early childhood education

REED CITY – Waving American flags, wearing colorful shirts and holding a friend’s hand, 375 students in second grade and younger took to the streets last Wednesday, celebrating April as the month of the Young Child.

The parade began at 1 p.m. at G.T. Norman Elementary School. Some children were pushed in strollers and others were guided by parents and teachers as the group walked down Higbee Street toward Upton Avenue and returned to the school.

“It’s about raising awareness of early childhood issues and the importance of early childhood education, from birth to second grade,” said LouAnn Gregory, Great Start Collaborative coordinator.

The parade was part of a month-long effort by the Mecosta-Osceola Great Start Collaborative to draw families, caregivers and the community closer to help raise successful children. The month culminated on Saturday with the annual Community and Family expo at Big Rapids Middle School. (Herald Review photos/Sarah Neubecker)