DANBURY, Conn. -- Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership is working with community groups to host three Community Cafés to increase awareness of the need for universal developmental screening of children ages birth to 5.
Help Me Grow, a program of the new Connecticut Office of Early Childhood (OEC), is launching the Help Me Grow Campaign this spring. The goal is to increase awareness of the screening and to link at-risk children to the supports and services they need.
As part of the Help Me Grow Campaign, Danbury’s Promise for Children Partnership is hosting three Community Cafés:
- The first will be March 26 at the Young Lives program for young parents;
- the second will be April 10 at the Danbury Public Library;
- and the third will be April 23 at Ellsworth Avenue School. This event will be conducted in Spanish.
Parents interested in attending one of the Cafés should call Caroline LaFleur at 203-300-1486 or Colby Rutledge at 203-616-5073 to make a reservation. Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Community Cafés, hosted by parents for parents, offer an opportunity to participate in guided meaningful conversations in a warm, inviting, café setting. Parents will learn more about child development and resources available in their community, talk about their own parenting experiences, and support each other while meeting new people and making new social connections.
"We hope parents will spread the word among family and friends about the importance of developmental screening from birth to 5 and the need to link children to community-based supports and services, when necessary," said LaFleur, director of the Promise for Children Partnership.
“All children can benefit from developmental screening. Screening lets us catch potential developmental delays early on, and provide young children with the help they need to succeed,” said Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of the OEC. “Too many young children still arrive at public school without having their developmental delays identified or getting the services and support they need during the critical early years of development.”
Karen Foley-Schain, division director for the OEC’s Family Support Services Division, agreed.
“The mission of the Help Me Grow Program is to identify children who need this help early on in their development,” says Foley-Schain, whose division oversees the Help Me Grow Program. “The best way to identify the children who need help is through developmental screening, the use of a formal screening tool to check on development periodically from birth to 5 years."
The goal is to identify children who are at-risk of developmental or behavioral delays and get them the help they need to succeed in school and in life.