Local mom and Weber State student Tiffany Wick had never heard of the free preschool program UPSTART until she was a volunteer for a parenting event at Newgate Mall. The online program is “such a useful tool to help increase a child’s reading and get them ready for kindergarten.” Within minutes, Tiffany was able to explain the program to another mom of young children as one of many resources available through Help Me Grow Utah and a coalition of local organizations.
For a second year, United Way of Northern Utah is joining with Help Me Grow, Weber State Child and Family Studies, and several other local partners in the Ogden United Promise Neighborhood to host Spring Into School Readiness, a free family activity and developmental screening day focused on children ages 0 through 5. The event will include games, music, and story time, as well as prize drawings throughout the day. Interested parents will be able to fill out an Ages and Stages Questionnaire for their young children, to assess whether each child’s development is on track or requires some extra attention.
Marlise Weyburn, another Weber State volunteer, emphasized the benefits of discovering developmental delays early on. “Some developmental delays, like speech, can only be worked on during early childhood when their speech is still developing,” she explained. Helping connect parents to local resources can make a life-changing difference in preparing these kids so they are ready to enter kindergarten and succeed in school.
Parents and kids will be able to have fun and learn together at the event as well. Volunteers teach the importance of play in a child’s development and can offer ideas for simple activities and games parents can do at home with their kids. Last year, Marlise had so much fun playing games and dancing with the kids, when “one little girl wanted to keep dancing, I danced with her until I had to go.”
Join us on Friday, April 6 at Newgate Mall (near Burlington) from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for this fun and informative family activity.