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Flash-Mob Event Aims to Spotlight Early-Childhood Issues, Coordinator Says

Preschoolers across Indiana are being invited to celebrate the Week of the Young Child this Thursday with their very own mini flash mobs intended to shine a light on the importance of early-childhood education.

Organizers are hoping that at exactly 10 a.m., hundreds—even thousands—of children around the state, all clothed in purple, will burst into choreographed dance at preschools and child-care centers to Sara Bareilles' song "Brave," said Kelly Dawn Jones, a day-care owner in Indianapolis who conceived the idea.

Then, on April 26 at noon, some children from participating preschools will take their shows on the road: If all goes according to plan, preschoolers will seem to appear suddenly in downtown Indianapolis at the corner of West Street and Robert D. Orr Plaza and perform, Jones said.

"The goal is to start a movement to raise awareness in the community about the importance of quality early-childhood education and squash the 'babysitter' mentality once and for all," said Jones, whose day-care center caters to 12 children.

Jones designed a program she calls "Flash Mob for Young Children" in 2013, choreographing moves and posting them on the web for all to see.

Flash mobs work when participants pretend to be hanging out near a specific location, then burst into a pre-arranged dance, she explained. The preschoolers at participating centers have been coached to pretend to be reading books or looking at a cell phone, she said.

"As soon as they hear the music start, they all know to start dancing," she said. "They are excited that they get to dance and be part of something really important that relates to and affects them."

The Week of the Young Child is sponsored annually by the Washington-based National Association for the Education of Young Children, which advocates for high-quality early-childhood education. 

You can learn this year's flash mob dance by clicking here.

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