Moffat County children’s health fair to offer range of free screenings | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County children’s health fair to offer range of free screenings

Health fair slated for Thursday, Friday in Moffat County School District Administration Building

Michael Neary







— A key health event for families with young children is coming up next week.

A children's health fair featuring a wide assortment of free screenings is slated for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Thursday and Friday in the Moffat County School District administration building. The fair is for children from birth to 5 years old who are not enrolled in kindergarten — and it will include Spanish-speaking interpreters for families who don't speak English.

Stephanie Davis, preschool director for the Moffat County School District, said district staff members will provide screening using the state's Child Find system for early intervention. That's a system which, according to the Colorado Department of Education's website, works to "evaluate how the child plays, learns, speaks, behaves and moves."

Davis described the Child Find process this way.

"If they're screened and they don't need further assessment, they fill out a preschool application," Davis said, noting that they can fill them out for the school district, Head Start or Eagle's Nest Preschool.

Recommended Stories For You

"If the screening results show the need for further assessment, they're referred and then they do a more in-depth (assessment)," she continued.

Then, if the assessments confirm developmental delays, district staff members will work with families to create an Individualized Education Program for preschool — if they're more than 3 years old. If they're younger, they can receive help from Horizons Specialized Services.

The fair will bring together a number of organizations to help with services.

The Craig Lions Club will provide photo-screening of children's eyes; Connections 4 Kids will help to provide resources for young families, including information about parenting; Horizons will be conducting developmental screenings for children from birth to 3 years old; and the Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition will provide dental screenings.

Members of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will also be present, "providing basic health screenings for the kids and looking for any existing or potential health concerns," said Marketing Coordinator Tamera Manzanares in an e-mail. She said they'd "also review immunization records at the parent's request if they bring the records to the health fair."

The wide-ranging health fair is held annually, but the school district's Child Find team for early intervention does developmental screenings every Friday.

Teresa Laster, the school psychologist for the district, noted the importance of reaching families, considering the challenges many young families in the communities face in finding resources.

"Our families struggle so much with so little," she said, noting a particular need for more mental health resources — "especially for young children."

Robyn Kitchen, a speech language pathologist for the school district, emphasized that children with developmental needs can receive key services within the preschool setting.

"If they qualify for services, then they would qualify to come to preschool — and they would be provided those services at school," she said. And if they're younger than 3 years old, she added, they can receive services from Horizons.

People who are interested in the health fair are encouraged to make an appointment, but they may also come as walk-ins on the day of the fair. For more information or to make an appointment, people can call 970-824-7457.