FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
District receives $77,500 in additional funding
to support its Child Find Expansion Program
BEAUFORT – More than 1,000 Beaufort County children are
expected to receive developmental screenings and needed educational
intervention to prepare them for kindergarten, thanks to $77,500 in additional
funding from The Learning Center Fund of Coastal Community Foundation.
The screenings will be conducted by the Child Find Expansion
Program, which offers comprehensive vision, hearing, speech and developmental
screenings each month at Beaufort Elementary, Michael C. Riley Early Childhood
Center and Hilton Head Island Early Childhood Center, for children ages 2½ to
The Child Find team consists of a registered nurse, a speech
therapist and early childhood professionals.
Additional funding from The Learning Center has allowed the program to
hire an additional part-time early childhood professional to work directly with
families in need of follow-up services and formal education for their children.
Follow-up services include additional referrals, home visits and
“Since 2013, we’ve been able to screen an additional 852
children and identified 226 children with suspected developmental delays,” said
Ashley Hutchison, coordinator of early childhood education for the school
district. “The Learning Center’s support
makes it possible to get more children on track for early success in school.”
During the past four years, the Child Find Expansion Program
has received a total of $247,000 from the Learning Center Fund of Coastal
“It is a great privilege to assist in the journey toward
providing quality education for children in this county, particularly children
who learn differently,” said Learning Center Board Chairman Malcolm Goodrich.
A comprehensive media campaign has been successful in
recruiting children from public, private and parochial schools, child care
centers, family day care homes and Head Start. The Child Find Expansion Program
also receives referrals from local pediatricians, the Medical University of
South Carolina, Healthlink, the South Carolina Department of Social Services,
Babynet, hospitals, Child Abuse Prevention Association, Citizens Opposed to
Domestic Violence, and Hope Haven.
“Children come to us as lifelong learners and our job as a
community is to nurture and continue their innate desire to learn,” said
Learning Center board member Charles Kresch.
“Through The Learning Center Fund, we try to allow children to succeed
to their highest potential.”
Child Find Expansion was designed to provide insight into
the early intervention needs in Beaufort County. The Child Find data collection system
developed by the district has the ability to track children throughout their
educational careers and can be utilized in determining the percentage of
children who are considered “ready to learn” upon entering the first grade.
“Identifying the specific individualized needs of our
youngest learners should continue to be a priority for all stakeholders in our
community,” Hutchison said.
For more information about the Child Find Expansion Program, contact Coordinator of Early Childhood Education Ashley Hutchison at 843-521-2399.