KATONAH, N.Y.--Kids at the Country Children’s Center’s Katonah location were treated to a presentation of some of nature’s more unusual specimens last week.
Amateur botanist David Schloat, whose daughter Lorelei attends the day school, came to visit the branch on his tour of all five of the center’s locations during the National Week of the Young Child.
His presentation was just one of the events during the week, along with story time visits from Bedford Supervisor Lee Roberts and Westchester County Legislator Peter Harckham, pansy and tree planting, building bluebird houses and a recyclables art show.
Schloat, who is an authorized member of the New England Carnivorous Plant Society, is a plant hobbyist whose passion is gardening. The expert showed the children species that grow all over the world, from New Jersey and Connecticut to parts of Asia and Africa.
“Kids are fascinated by anything unusual,” he said.
Schloat showed the children the sticky nectar that traps bugs unlucky enough to land on the leaves of the sundew plant and explained how the pitcher plant catches its food: bugs are attracted to the plant’s vibrant colors and sweet–smelling nectar and fall into the pitcher’s deep natural wells, called pitfalls.
“Like an avocado has a pit?” said one of the children.
It is this kind of adorable moment that showcases what is so poignant about the annual National Week of the Young Child, which is conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. The week sheds light on the critical nature of that period of early life when children are learning about the world for the first time and making connections.
“Week of the Young Child events raise consciousness of the importance of early childhood education in building a foundation for later success in school and life,” Country Children’s Center Executive Director Polly Peace said in a news release.
Schloat agreed the way kids learn is very important and markedly different from adults. “They have the time to be interested in everything,” he said. “They have all the time in the world.”