Posted: 5/11/23

Laredo Learns Offers Free Developmental 0 - 5 Screenings at TAMIU



Laredo Learns, an innovative collaboration, will offer free developmental screenings and information focused on school readiness for families with children aged 0-5 this Saturday, May 13, 2023, from 2 – 4 p.m. at TAMIU’s Western Hemispheric Trade Center lobby and Room 111. 

The event is free of charge.  Online registration is available at https://form.jotform.com/231237030198046 or contact San Juanita Guerra, parent educator/community trainer/mental health consultant for Border Project LAUNCH at 956.568.7198.

The Laredo Learns collaboration is spearheaded by Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) College of Education, the City of Laredo, Webb County, and Southern Distributing, Laurel Insurance Agency and Associates, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Trust, and Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Peters. 

Saturday’s event is focused on helping participants receive vital, free screenings for children in addition to information on resources available to them in Laredo, said TAMIU College of Education Dean, Dr. James O’Meara.

“In Laredo, about 4,000 children are born annually.  Of that number, only 3% of children are screened, which is a key activity for optimizing a child’s health and kindergarten readiness. Post-Pandemic, we have seen a 20% drop in kindergarten readiness.  Through this partnership, our screenings are focused on four vital areas:  food security, daily reading, infant and toddler screening, and early-preK access. We hope that by getting more of our Laredo babies screened, we can help provide the assistance and resources needed to get them ready for kindergarten and healthy developmental milestones,” Dr. O’Meara explained.

Guillermo “Memo” Treviño, Laredo Learns collaborator and president of Southern Distributing, concurred.

“Laredo Learns is dedicated to ensuring that every child in Laredo has the resources and support they need to succeed in school and in life. By working together, we can create a city where all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” Treviño said.

Laredo Learns envisions a city in which all children arrive on the first day of kindergarten ready to succeed. To achieve this goal, the organization has identified key strategies linked to the Texas School Readiness Dashboard (https://txreadykids.org/) that are essential to ensuring that every child has the resources and support they need to thrive.

Partners joining in Saturday’s initiative include TAMIU’s College of Education and College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing, Community Action Corporation of South Texas, MHP Salud, Texas Health and Human Services Early Childhood Intervention, City of Laredo Health Department, SCAN (Serving Children and Adults in Need), Border Project LAUNCH and the Webb County Head Start Program.

Laredo Learns grew from a report prepared by the Learning City@ Laredo Pre-Natal-3 (LoC@L PN-3) Project. 

That report, “Laredo Learns 2030:  Healthy Beginnings, Supported Families, High-Quality Early Care and Learning Report and Recommendations,” targets a goal of increasing the quality of and access to prenatal and post-partum health services for low-income mothers and health services for low-income infants and toddlers. It is located here: https://www.tamiu.edu/coedu/se_consulting_laredotx_report_final_hires.pdf

For more information, contact San Juanita Guerra, parent educator/community trainer/mental health consultant for Border Project LAUNCH at 956.568.7198.