Juneau's youngest artists had an opportunity to display their incredible creativity in an elegant setting, with live piano music and red refreshments, including chocolate dipped strawberries and cranberry sparkling cider. The "Children and the Red Thread" event featured over 150 pieces by local toddler and preschool artists from 15 different early learning programs, at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center as part of the First Friday Gallery Walk on Sept. 3.
Local child care programs were each given a skein of red yarn as a medium, to see what children could create. "Who knew how many different ways you could create with yarn!" was a comment shared by many viewers. Many of the pieces reflected our southeast Alaskan environment, including a life-sized halibut, a catch of red crabs and a magical macaroni mermaid.
The event was hosted by the Association for the Education of Young Children, Southeast Alaska (AEYC) and the thread was in celebration of the first anniversary of thread: Alaska's Child Care Resource and Referral Network in Juneau. thread is the new name and brand for the Child Care Resource and Referral services funded through a grant from the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. The network joins together across the state to help parents find quality care, support the quality and professional development of early learning programs, and to promote community awareness and support for affordable quality child care.
Thanks to Nancy Decherney and Juneau Arts and Humanities Council for providing the space, and to all the children, families, and early childhood educators that participated. Creations included "Catching Fish with Yarn" and "Branch Weaving" by Krista Bertholl's Mountains to Meadows; "Crabtastic!" by Kueni Maake's ABC Center; "Mermaid" by St. Vincent DePaul Development Center directed by Irena Weafer; "Red Rover Friends" by Samantha Adam's TLC Child Care; "Thread Web" by Puddle Jumpers Developmental Learning Center, directed by Sarah Williams; "Snap Shots" by Juneau Co-op Preschool, co-led by Rhonda Gardinier and Mary Sweeney; "Expressions of Red" by Juneau Montessori School, directed by Lupita Alvarez; "Spunky Friends" by Spunky Sprouts Learning Center, directed by Jenny Hendren; "Yarn Sculpture 2D and 3D" by Gold Creek Child Development Center, directed by Gretchen Boone; "Once Upon a Yarn" by Jenny Geary's Grammies Treasures; "Fingers Full of Yarn" by Genny Del Roasario's Aunt Genny's Child Care; "Needle Pulling Thread" by Discovery Preschool, directed by Blue Schibler; and "Toddler Fun" and "Yarn Bowlies" by Juneau Christian Child Care, directed by Deenie Rose.
The artwork will be on display through Oct. 15 at the AEYC and thread office in the Juneau Empire building, second floor north, 3100 Glacier Highway, Suite 215. For more information about thread services or the status of young children in Juneau, call 789-1235 or visit www.aeyc-sea.org or www.threadalaska.org.
Joy Lyon is the executive director of the Association for the Education of Young Children, Southeast Alaska.