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      Learning the importance of child play

      In Marquette, a group of teachers and early childhood daycare providers came together to learn more about early childhood development.

      The Upper Peninsula Association for Education for Young Children put on the event at Northern Michigan University's University Center this Saturday. Among the many topics was understanding children's play and why it's important.

      "Through play, children have an opportunity to make sense of the world around them, to learn what we think of traditionally, like their letters, their numbers, their colors and shapes, but also to learn about how to take care of each other, of their own personal space, and make sense of a really complex world that they've found themselves in," said keynote speaker Richard Cohen, Director of Communications at Partnerships & New Initiatives at the Council for Professional Recognition in Washington, D.C.

      Around 70 teachers and daycare providers attended Saturday's conference.