Early Childhood Council Celebrates the 30 years of free screening

Early Childhood Council Celebrates the 30 years of free screening

The Center of Disease and Prevention statistics show nearly one in five children in the country will exhibit some form of developmental delay or disability.

The Early Childhood Council of Hillsborough County has been on top of the troubling issue for 30 years to make sure such problems affecting children are properly diagnosed and treated prior to their starting kindergarten.

Since 1986, the nonprofit agency — with funding from the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County and in partnership with the Hillsborough County School District, the University of South Florida and Head Start — has provided free screenings for nearly 30,000 preschoolers throughout the area. As a result, 75 percent of those tested have been referred for further evaluation.

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The Early Childhood Council — in collaboration with several faith-based organizations throughout the county who open up their facilities — hosts once-a-month screenings for children from birth to age 5 whose parents have concerns about their vision, hearing, speech and language development, motor skills, cognition or behavior.

The most recent screening, which served 70 children, was held at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in New Tampa.

“We have developed a model that provides maximum impact and have removed the barriers that have kept some children from receiving this valuable service,” said Steve Martaus, executive director of the Early Childhood Council.

The key to the success of the project is teamwork, including the assistance of professionals who volunteer their services and number about 75 at every screening.

Among them are people from the school system and students from USF and Hillsborough Community College.

Martaus and Kelley Parris, executive director of the Children’s Board, like to tell the program’s success story involving Jordan, the adopted son of Loren and Tony Dungy, former coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a 2016 Football Hall of Fame inductee.

It was through the Early Childhood Council’s screening that their child was diagnosed and got the help he needed regarding the fact his body was impervious to pain and he suffered from anhidrosis, a lack of sweating that can lead to hyperthermia.

“Children are this community’s most precious gift and the opportunity to evaluate a child’s development and prevent possible lifelong handicapping conditions is a resource no child should be denied,” Kelley Parris said.

Daffany Brunson took her 3-year-old son, Chase Brunson, to the screening at St. Mark’s Catholic Church. She was concerned about his enunciation of words.

“So far, so good,” she said. “This screening opportunity is such a blessing.”

Todd and Stephanie Speceh were also at the church with their daughter, Gracie, also 3. They were worried her cognitive development wasn’t on par with most other children her age.

“She’ll have some further evaluation and they’ll help set it up, but she looks to be on track,” Stephanie Speceh said. “This opportunity is great and the screening process moves pretty fast.”

Early Childhood Council Assistant Director Greg Vanplet noted his agency also evaluates and offers support for children by phone, with the help of Champions for Children, another local nonprofit advocacy organization.

Five Best Daycare and Early Childhood Development Centers In Brookline

Things To Do This Coming Weekend In Brookline & Boston Area (March 2016)

Things To Do This Coming Weekend In Brookline & Boston Area (March 2016)

Showcase SuperLux Welcomes Families for Disney’s Zootopia

Starting this Thursday, March 3rd, Disney’s feature length film, Zootopia, will hit the big screen at SuperLux, and all ages are welcome to attend.

SuperLux is typically 21+ after 6pm, but this with this unique offering, there are no age restrictions and families are invited to enjoy the ultimate movie-going experience together!

Additionally, Showcase SuperLux will offer a special children’s food and beverage menu made specifically for the film.

From Cheese Quesadillas to the Decadent Brownie Sundae, kids can indulge on a number of tasty treats while fully reclining in the theatre’s super plush leather seats!

A Sailor’s Life for me at the USS Constitution Meseum

Enjoy a full day of sailor fun at the USS Constitution Museum!

In All Hands On Deck you can explore the harsh realities of life at sea and join USS Constitution just as the War of 1812 is declared.
Discover the unique world afloat and the men and women that made history alongside USS Constitution.
Hands on activities, fascinating personal stories and the birth of a national icon make All Hands On Deck entertaining for visitors from 2 to 92.
Put your mark on history!
Meet a US Navy crewmember and chat about the ongoing ship restoration and about serving on board America’s oldest warship.
Sign your name on a sheet of copper that will be placed on Constitution’s hull during the restoration.
Try out A Mutinous Quest!
Relive the story of Jack Tarr, an ordinary seaman aboard Constitution, and his struggle to decide whether to join a mutinous crew or stay loyal to Captain Bainbridge.
Explore the galleries to find hidden clues to help inform your decision.
Quest kits are available in the Museum lobby.
Or come discover what the Navy Yard has to offer with fun and games for all in our Seabag Discovery Kits!

Available at the USS Constitution Museum or the Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center.

Paint With The Harbor Seals at the New England Aquarium

See firsthand the artistic abilities of our harbor seals, and take home a beautiful memento of your close encounter.

Participants in each studio session with a seal will be invited into the Atlantic harbor seal exhibit to learn about this intelligent local species while working side by side with a trainer. As part of the day’s exercises, your seal will paint a masterpiece using three colors of your choosing.
Using a specially adapted paint brush, the seals at the Aquarium create colorful paintings with a couple of flicks of their head or flipper. You might even get a seal kiss! Professional photographers will be on hand to document your encounter (for an additional fee).
Paintings can be picked up an hour after the session to allow time for drying
● Cost is $100 for an 8” x 10” painting and $150 for a 16” x 20” painting. Price does not include required Aquarium admission● Member prices are $90 for 8” x 10” and $135 for 16” x 20”
● One participant per reservation
● Ages: 9 and up. Call Central Reservations at (617­) 973­-5206 to book these marine mammal programs.

Lion Birthday Celebration at Franklin Park Zoo

Lion brothers Dinari and Kamaia turn seven in March, and guests are invited to celebrate the occasion.
This roaring good time will include special birthday enrichment items for the lions and an education station featuring lion fun facts as well as conservation information.
Guests can also sign a giant birthday card, and enjoy a slice of cake from Montilio’s Baking Company (available for the first 200 people).
Zookeeper encounters will be held at the lion exhibit at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity for guests to learn more about the brothers and ask questions.
Please note: The lions will go on exhibit at 10:15 a.m.

Little Corner Schoolhouse Premier Early Education and Childcare Center in Brookline Massachusetts.

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Pick one up for the duration of your stay and explore the sites.