OHI to Participate in Children’s Festival Saturday, April 13
OHI (Ocean Health Initiatives), a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with locations in Lakewood, Toms River, and Manahawkin, will be participating in the Children’s Festival, at the Ocean County Library, 101 Washington Street, Toms River, Saturday, April 13, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.
The Children’s Festival, sponsored by the N.J. Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAEYC), is especially designed for children ages three through six and their families. Admission is free. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.
OHI, which has several bilingual pediatricians and nurse practitioners, will have Rebecca Roberts, LPN, (Licensed Practical Nurse) on hand to answer parents’ questions about children’s health care. OHI will also hand out materials about its pediatric and general services at a resource table.
At the Children’s Festival, children can participate in many activities, including sand art, planting seeds, bubble cups, bird feeders, music and movement, story time, art discovery, and the Budding Artist Gallery, among others. Parents will want to see Where Do the Children Play?, a 55-minute award-winning documentary film at 1:00, depicting the vital importance of open-ended creative play for the healthy development of children.
Theresa Berger, CEO of OHI, said, “We have long recognized the need to provide education and healthcare to the medically underserved and especially children.”
Michelle Keenan, president of the Ocean affiliate of NJAEYC and the director and co-owner of Beachwood Nursery School, said the idea behind the children’s festival is to kick off the National Week of the Young Child, and to raise awareness for early childhood education and the importance of investing in the early years.
Keenan says, “NJAEYC’s and other nursery schools’ reason for participating is their way of giving back to the community, provide developmentally age-appropriate activities for the children, and raise awareness for the non-profit group (NJAEYC). Providing good professional development to all early childhood educators, the best quality across the board for all of the centers, is the organization’s goal.”
The Ocean County Family Success Center, a part of the Children’s Home Society, opened in April 2012. Susan O’Leary, coordinator, said at least one center exists in each county throughout the state. Family Success Center schools, funded by the state, are community-based, family-centered neighborhood places where any community resident can come for support, information, and services. Services are free and confidential. Services include parent education classes, parent support groups, financial literacy workshops, stress management workshops, life skill workshops, and parent/child activities.
About Ocean Health Initiatives
OHI, a federally qualified health center (FQHC), with locations at 101 Second Street, Lakewood; and 301 Lakehurst Road, Toms River; and 333 Haywood Road Manahawkin, provides comprehensive preventative and primary care, including pediatrics, maternal and child health, prenatal, WIC, universal immunizations, and dental health to the area’s uninsured, underinsured, and undocumented residents on a sliding-fee scale, based on an individual’s or family’s ability to pay. OHI has a bilingual staff available to assist patients and callers. To become a patient of OHI, call a representative in the Call Center at either 732-552-0377, Toms River, or 732-363-6655, Lakewood. Visit www.ohinj.org. for further information.