APL will have free childhood development screenings Friday, May 12

Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023

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The Andalusia Public Library will hold a free event providing early childhood development screenings on Friday, May 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

In a partnership with Help Me Grow Alabama, the program titled “Books, Balls, and Blocks” will be geared toward children ages one month to 5 1/2 years old. Help Me Grow Alabama connects families to health and developmental resources, so children can start school healthy and ready to succeed.

“This will be a great program following our weekly Story Time. The resources from Help Me Grow are beneficial, so this program will be very important for parents to see their children’s development at an early age. We are looking forward to hosting this event at the library and encourage the community to come out for Story Time and stay afterward to learn as much as possible. If you have any questions, please bring those and help us get the word out about this fun and free program for our future leaders,” Children’s Librarian Caryl Lee Ray said.

The confidential care program aims to link every family in Alabama with children (birth to age eight) with a care coordinator who will answer questions and address concerns about their child’s development. Families will be connected with resources in the community, and a follow-up will be conducted to ensure a connection is made.

According to Help Me Grow, there are a few milestones that children should reach by certain ages. Those are as follows:

  • At two months, does your baby hold his/her head up and begin to push up during tummy time?
  • At 12 months, does your baby repeat sounds or actions to get attention?
  • At 18 months, does your child show interest in a doll or stuffed animal by pretending to feed?
  • At 36 months, does your child walk up and down stairs with one foot on each step?
  • At 48 months, does your child know his/her first and last name?

Help Me Grow also assists with whether or not babies are eating the correct amount of food, the length of sleep in children, if tantrums are normal at this stage of their lives, when babies should begin crawling, and how many words children should be saying.

Developmental screening is a way of measuring a child’s overall development using a valid and reliable screening tool. It highlights important developmental milestones such as those above and identifies children’s areas of strength as well as areas of concern.

According to a report, nearly 85 percent of brain development occurs in the first few years of life before entering kindergarten. Nearly 80 percent of the brain is wired for learning by the age of three. The report states that it is also important to track a child’s development much like routine check-ups with the child’s doctor.

The Andalusia Public Library is located at 212 South Three Notch Street and is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information email library@cityofandalusia.com or call 334-222-6612.

Help Me Grow Alabama is headquartered in Montgomery and serves all 67 counties in the state. For more information visit helpmegrowalabama.org or call 833-939-0336.