by Tina Canon
Is your child having trouble seeing, hearing or speaking clearly? Is growth a concern?
Because these problems could lead to learning disabilities if not corrected early, the Harrison County Preschool Interagency Task Force is offering PALS (Preschool Assessment of Local Students) for children birth to 4 years old.
No appointment is necessary for the free screening which is scheduled for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Nutter Fort Primary School, said Melody Waybright, coordinator.
"The screening will take around one hour," she said, "and includes vision, hearing, speech/language, dental, health and development."
Waybright said that local medical workers have donated their time to go over shot records, weigh and measure the children and discuss each assessment record with the parents. Physicians will be available to answer questions.
If any problems are found, a directory of medical professionals and agencies that also offer low-cost assistance will be given to the parents.
"Children can also be fingerprinted by the sheriff's department," said Waybright. "We will also have 'The Kids on the Block' to entertain the children."
When the children are finished, they receive a goody bag of pencils, crayons and coloring sheets provided by the Harrison/Lewis Head Start program.
The PALS event is sponsored by the Harrison County Board of Education and Head Start.
In its 13th year, an average of 100 children are assessed each year, she said.
For information, call Waybright at 842-5632.
Staff writer Tina Canon can be reached at 626-1404 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.