A child's brain cannot flourish on its own.
According to Nancy Tehan, of ABC Cayuga and the E. John Gavras Center, children need positive interaction for their brains to develop. Interaction is particularly important from birth to age 5 — five crucial years.
"Children can't develop on their own," Tehan said. "They need their parents and families and supportive communities."
Through two proposed programs, ABC Cayuga hopes to give Cayuga County residents more opportunities for interaction. Both programs were discussed during the April edition of the Wednesday Morning Roundtable.
Tehan, the center's early childhood initiatives and community relations coordinator, said the first program is more of an idea.
ABC Cayuga is currently looking into creating a play space for children under 5 years old in downtown Auburn. For a nominal fee, adults would be able to be able to play with their children through age-appropriate, developmentally friendly activities.
Tehan said plans for the play space remain preliminary and are currently being examined by a committee.
The second program is more concrete.
In the fall, Tehan said ABC Cayuga hopes to bring the Born Learning Academy to Casey Park Elementary School in Auburn. The program would consist of six sessions.
"That brings parents of young children into the school early," she said. "They get to come into the school and learn about brain architecture and the importance of reading to your child. "
As ABC Cayuga explores new ways to encourage positive development, Tehan said the center will continue to support parents through existing events — like Community Cafes — and social media.