Holidays and Special Days in the Third Week of April

April Calendar
April Calendar. Image credit: prawny / 123RF Stock Photo

What can you and your child learn about in the third week of April?  What activities can you and your child engage in?  What holidays can you celebrate?  There are a few good ones, like Earth Day and Ellis Island Family History Day.

April 14

National Library Workers Day (Tuesday of National Library Week)
I love libraries. I always have, from the day I first discovered books right up until today. When my son was young we spent many, many afternoons at the libraries.

Yes, libraries. Plural. One wasn't enough for us! Even today with the proliferation of digital books, I still love libraries. There is just nothing like seeing and being able to touch all those books on all those shelves. Our library workers were all wonderful and I love them to this day. They never pushed us to stay in the section meant for kids my son's age. They knew him and his abilities and were always willing to direct him to the books he was interested in.

​​April 16

National Stress Awareness Day
It seems odd to have a day devoted to the awareness of stress. After all, who isn't aware of stress? But the day is meant to raise awareness of the effects of stress and the importance of taking steps to relieve the stress in our lives.

This is important for children as well as adults and it's certainly important for gifted children who often face the stress of trying to live up to others' expectations of them as well as the stress encountered in classrooms that bore rather than challenge them.

April 17

  1. Bat Appreciation Day
    To many people, bats are a little creepy. After all, vampires (the ones that don't sparkle) turn into bats and fly off. And if you look at bats up close, you see that they have teeth, some looking like fangs. And bats are furry! What kind of bird has fur? None. Bats are mammals, which explains not just the fur, but the teeth. Bats are the only flying mammals in existence. And while they may look a little creepy to some, they are really wonderful creatures that we should appreciate!  Learn more about bats today!
  2. Ellis Island Family History Day
  • In case you don't know, Ellis Island is the place where immigrants to America arrived and then in most cases were allowed through to begin their new life in America. On April 17, 1907, 11,747 immigrants passed through Ellis Island - more people than on any other day before or after. Seventeen million immigrants altogether passed through Ellis Island from the day it opened in 1892 to the day it closed in 1954.

April 20

Patriots Day (third Monday in April)
On April 19, 1775, the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired in Concord, Massachusetts. It might be more accurate to say that the first shots were fired in Lexingon since that is where British troops on the way to Concord encountered American militamen, firing on them and killing eitght. They were on their way to Concord to seize weapons and ammunition that they believed were stored there. When they reached the Concord Bridge, they were met by the Americans. No one knows who fired first, but the two sides exchanged fire. Those first shots were the "shots heard round the world" memorialized by Ralph Waldo Emerson in his poem, "Concord Hymn." This day honors those Americans.​

April 22

Earth Day

It's hard to believe but there was once a time when most people didn't give the environment much of a thought. Then Earth Day was born. I still remember going to the first Earth Day festivities on the commons at my university. Loud music played, and there were tables everywhere, piled high with information about every aspect of the environment. We could get information on just about every form of pollution, too, all but one. And one elderly gentleman set on straight on that one. He walked around with a large sign around his neck that said simply: Stop Noise Pollution!

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