ST. PAUL – The right to play and learn are pillars to achieving self-actualization, according to the message spread on National Child Day, observed annually on Nov. 20 across the country.
The theme was shared on Nov. 18 in St. Paul during an event that allowed children the opportunity to participate in a myriad of activities at the St. Paul Municipal Library.
Children at the library took part in activities that engaged their senses, and “cognitive minds to create whatever they want," according to Pauline Szucs, coordinator with Franco-Accueil.
The activities were designed to “nurture the developmental needs of our children,” according to Szucs. “And what better way to explore their world,” but alongside parents and guardians in a nurturing environment."
She added, “The reason we do this is to highlight our children in a way that allows people to see that they are little citizens of our world.”
In addition to Franco-Accueil, other organizations also participated, including the Lakeland Family Resource Network, local day cares, and the Boys and Girls Club.
According to information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, National Child Day is celebrated in Canada on Nov. 20 to commemorate the “adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC),” ratified in 1991.
Ratification of the UNCRC ensures children are “treated with dignity and respect,” in addition to providing children the opportunity to reach their “full potential."
These “opportunities” include protection of children from abuse, neglect, exploitation, and ensuring basic needs like food and shelter for children are met, as well as providing children “opportunities to participate in decisions that impact them," according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.