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At child care center, care and much more

NORTH CANAAN — Skinny Pig Apartments and a treehouse painted John Deere green. These and other unique structures can be found in town, in a model of North Canaan that came out of the inspired imagination of some of its youngest residents.Preschoolers at Canaan Child Care Center have been studying the town, its architecture and who it takes to build it, welcoming professionals to the center to talk with them. Blueprints and models they created are on display in the Salisbury Bank and Trust Company’s North Canaan branch.It is amazing to see what they came up with. Skinny Pig — a name they chose for the tall, narrow building, simply because they liked it — even has a working elevator. They had the added challenge of building from materials on hand: cardboard, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and tissue boxes.The exhibit is called “On the Right Track to Success.”“We made it all by ourselves,” Cole Dennis said proudly, adding, “with some help from the teachers.”He pulled out a bed with sleeping popsicle stick people and pointed out the chimney that even had smoke coming out of it. Ciara Cecchinato-Paz said that on a tour of the town she noticed a lot of buildings are old and made of brick.Centers like this one, which have a National Association for the Education of Young People accreditation, do much more than babysitting. Teachers even go to evening classes to earn degrees. For the children, it’s not about being pushed. It’s about using early childhood education curriculum to open their minds to new ways of thinking. Canaan Child Care Center is part of the Northwest Corner Child Care Collaborative, which includes centers in Kent, Falls Village, Salisbury, Sharon and Cornwall. They will celebrate the Week of the Young Child with a free dinner for child center families on Friday, April 20, 6 to 8 p.m. at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. It will include entertainment by Tom the Music Man, face painting, and a display describing each child care and early learning center. NPR radio station WHDD’s Marshall Miles will broadcast live.Next up for Canaan Child Care Center kids is clothing design.

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