5th Annual LDAH Keiki Health Fair Prepares Children to Start Sch - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

5th Annual LDAH Keiki Health Fair Prepares Children to Start School Ready to Learn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Most children in Hawaii are not entering kindergarten ready to learn, with less than 10% of kindergarten classes having 75% or more children consistently displaying key skills and characteristics necessary for success in school. Early childhood screenings maximize the chances of keiki entering kindergarten with age-appropriate language, literacy and social-emotional skills.

Learning Disabilities of Hawaii (LDAH) will celebrate the 5th anniversary of its Keiki Health Fair to provide free early developmental screenings on Friday, November 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waianae Mall. The public is invited to attend.

The event for children ages 2-5 and their families will include hearing, vision and developmental screenings, as well as information on case management and available LDAH and community resources to parents. The Keiki Health Fair will also feature activities and prizes and entertainment by Hawaii comedian, Augie T.

According to Michael K. Moore, executive director of LDAH, approximately 60% of Hawaii's children in the two through five year old age bracket are not likely to receive timely early childhood screenings. If unscreened, approximately one in four children with a potential problem in the areas of development, hearing or vision will remain undetected and untreated.

“Studies show that children who start school with a disadvantage are unlikely to catch up to their classmates unless educational intervention programs are made available,” Moore said. “Children prepared for school are far more likely to succeed in secondary education and continue on to college or other post-secondary learning and career opportunities.”

Moore noted that the Keiki Health Fair has attracted hundreds of Leeward Coast community residents over the past four years and brings 20 or more Waianae Coast service providers together to provide information and resources to ensure that keiki enter kindergarten ready to learn.

Moore added that with funding from Aloha United Way, LDAH began a multi-agency initiative to create the first of its kind community-based School Readiness Project to increase the percentage of keiki ready for kindergarten, six years ago. Since that time, LDAH has screened more than 7,000 children for developmental, social-emotional, hearing and/or vision problems; providing case management for all referred children (approximately 25%) and educating more than 2,000 parents on early childhood health and developmental milestones. LDAH has received additional funding to support its efforts from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Project Vision Hawaii, and most recently, from Kamehameha Schools.

As the Parent Training & Information Center for the state of Hawaii for the past 24 years, LDAH provides information and referral, education and training, and mentoring and advocacy for families of children with disabilities, statewide. These services help parents obtain optimal educational results for their children.

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