May 19, 2023
On April 22, Fairfax Futures supported an Earth Day event in partnership with Mount Eagle Elementary School. Local families and their children worked in the school garden and were invited to learn about their child’s development by participating in free developmental screenings, visiting a mini-resource fair with early childhood organizations, and engaging in activities.
Early childhood experts from Fairfax County’s Neighborhood and Community Services/Office for Children, Infant & Toddler Connection of Fairfax-Falls Church, FCPS Early Childhood Identification and Services, and local child care centers led families in completing the Ages & Stages Questionnaires (ASQ), a developmental screening tool for children ages birth to five years. Two out of the thirteen children screened were referred to Infant & Toddler Connection to access an assessment and additional resources to help them better prepare for Kindergarten. The County’s CareVan (equipped with WiFi and private workstations) served as a mobile office to facilitate the interactions between educators and caregivers.
Minority and immigrant communities, such as Mount Eagle, may lack the awareness, education and access to tools like the ASQ that help to provide additional supports before their child enters Kindergarten. With this model, Fairfax Futures engages with families where they are – in the community. Julio Gonzalez, Vice Chair of the Fairfax Futures Board of Directors, commented "It was wonderful to see this idea become a reality; to bring together a community with particular needs, and the resources to meet those needs in a culturally thoughtful and joyful way. It took months of conversations, planning, hard work, and the generosity of so many donors, volunteers, and leaders of the many organizations involved but we did it! Every child and family that was helped is now closer to school readiness, and a brighter future."