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Community Action staff administering vision test

Jazmine was referred to Community Action of Allegan County by her child’s pediatrician where Jazmine met with a Family Advocate in the Early Education Services Department to complete an application for her daughter Hazel and sibling, Ella. The family was accepted into the program and received wrap-around services. Hazel started in the Allegan Head Start classroom while Ella was enrolled in the Home Base Program with a Home Visitor coming to their home once a week.

As part of a federal requirement, all children in the Head Start program have their hearing and vision screened early in the year to identify any potential issues. When Hazel’s vision and hearing were screened it was determined she needed a complete eye exam. Hazel’s mother, Jazmine, went to see Dr. Lisa in Holland and had the eye exam completed.

Dr. Lisa informed Jazmine that had Hazel’s left eye been left untreated, she would have been completely blind in her left eye by the time she entered high school. Her right eye was also heading in that direction, but it was not as far along as her left. Dr. Lisa had Hazel start wearing glasses at all times and told Jazmine that because it was caught early, Hazel’s brain would be able to correct her eyesight! By high school, she should not have to wear glasses anymore.

Our Early Education Services Department provides
comprehensive services to support the mental, social, physical, and emotional development of children from prenatal to five years old. Educational services are combined with child development screenings, family support services, parent involvement opportunities, and medical/dental assistance. The medical assistance provided by the vision screener is how Hazel’s family knew there was a problem with her eyesight.

The goal of the Early Education Services Department is to get all children ready for school. Jazmine stated that since being in the program, Hazel has learned how to spell her name and learn about her feelings, and Ella has gotten ready for a preschool classroom by participating in the Home Based program.

When asked how she thinks life would have been different if she had not participated in the Early Education programs, Jazmine said she thinks it would be harder because she would not know the things she does now that can help her kids.

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