The 12th annual Preschool Assessment of Local Students (P.A.L.S.) is a collaborative effort that helps detect health problems in children 4 years and younger. It's free and it's a great program.
The P.A.L.S. screening program is put together by the Harrison County Board of Education, the Harrison-Clarksburg Health Department, Head Start, United Summit Center, the Harrison County Parent Educator Resource Center and others.
Doing business as the Harrison County Preschool Interagency Task Force, these groups help children too young to attend school. More than 1,000 kids have been screened in the last decade and a third of them were referred to help correct any physical problems that were found.
The screenings are thorough -- kids are examined for medical and dental problems, in addition to testing for vision, hearing, language and cognitive development.
The program is especially helpful to kids who might not otherwise get regular checkups.
"Some parents may have health insurance," said school nurse Penny Arnold. "But it may not cover well-child checkups."
The P.A.L.S. program serves a vital need in our community. We're fortunate to have so many people volunteer their time and talents for the county's little ones.
Today's editorial reflects the opinion of the Exponent editorial board, which is comprised of James G. Logue, Kevin S. Courtney, Patrick M. Martin, Matt Harvey and J. Cecil Jarvis.