Event Helps Kids Grow / World's Greatest Baby Shower
Mothers and fathers worry, especially newer moms and dads. They have questions. They need answers.
And they want the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children are OK and on track.
Enter Help Me Grow Florida, a program designed to promote healthy development for every child who lives in our state.
On the Space Coast, the Help Me Grow Brevard coalition of nonprofit and government agencies led by 2-1-1 Brevard has been working for almost two years to answer parents’ questions … and to increase the number of children — primarily infants to 5-year-olds — who get routine developmental screenings.
This year, on the day before Mother’s Day, a special event called “Books, Balls & Blocks” will offer free screenings, educational prizes, and a multi-station play area where children can show off their skills.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at Viera Regional Community Center, in conjunction with the 22nd Annual World’s Greatest Baby Shower, where expectant parents also can learn and earn baby gifts.
As the screening event name says, there’ll be books, balls, blocks and other toys in the restricted play area so older children stay busy and safe while parents complete online Ages & Stages Questionnaires. Based on age, the questions address activities that a child may or may not be able to do.
For example, for a 4-month-old: While your baby is on his back, does he move his head from side to side?
For a 1-year-old: Does your baby follow one simple command, such as “come here,” “give it to me” or “put it back,” without you using gestures?
For a 33-month-old: Does your child jump with both her feet leaving the floor at the same time?
For a 5-year-old: Does your child dress and undress himself, including buttoning medium-size buttons and zipping front zippers?
Since the children will be nearby, parents can test a child if they’re unsure of an answer.
After the event, the results will be scored and a Help Me Grow Brevard coordinator will contact the families. The parents’ answers will show a child’s strengths as well as highlight any areas in which the child may need more practice.
They also will indicate whether a child may need further support or assessment. Or whether everything is just fine … and there’s no need to worry.
The Help Me Grow coordinator will continue to work with families who need support and check in later with families who don’t.
Estimates say that 6 out of 7 children don’t experience developmental delays, learning disorders or behavioral and social-emotional problems.
But 1 child does.
Even if your pediatrician offers or encourages screenings during “well child” visits, please consider “Books, Balls & Blocks” as another family-fun way to help your child grow.
Books, Balls & Blocks, in conjunction with World’s Greatest Baby Shower
9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, May 12
Viera Regional Community Center, 2300 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Melbourne 32940
Free admission, including developmental screenings and other activities