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Early Learning Coalition of NWFL offers developmental screenings for children

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Friday morning Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida held a Books, Balls & Blocks event at The Drip Coffee Co in Panama City.

This comes as the nonprofit continues its mission to set children and families up for success through learning.

Books, Balls, & Blocks was for children two months to eight years old and offered parents the opportunity to get free developmental and behavioral screenings for their children.

Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida Special Projects Manager Alyssa Gray said assessing needs and improving development as early as possible is very important.

“90 percent of your brain is actually developed by age five,” Gray said. “So those early interventions to make sure you have the foundation for learning later in life directly correlate with the outcomes later in life as an adult.”

The screening assessed five different areas of development including communication, problem-solving, fine motor, gross motor and personal social.

Questions asked include whether a young child can sit up on their own or whether toddlers can use a pair of scissors.

Results were provided to parents during the event as well as resources.

Children also got to indulge in several play stations aimed at improving development.

Megan Sweeten brought her four children to the event and said she has been to plenty Early Learning Coalition of NWFL events and finds them to be useful.

“You learn their [children’s] strengths and their weaknesses and where you can help them out,” Sweeten said. “Even help educate your friends and other people around you.

The Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida team said their goal is not to diagnose a child but to help support development.

The next Early Learning Coalition of Northwest Florida event is set to take place on July 13 at Goshen Evangelist Ministries located at 2904 E Highway 98, Panama City, FL 32401.

For the latest information on the nonprofit’s events or resources visit their website.