PAYETTE — Families enjoyed a free, fun and informative evening at the Payette Primary School on Jan. 28. Shelly McGehee and Karla Bales, LAUNCH Resiliency Advocates for WICAP’s Project LAUNCH Program, unveiled the new mental health program for children birth to eight years old.
LAUNCH stands for Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health and is designed to address the physical, social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral aspects of child development.
The advocates discussed ACEs, which stands for Adverse Childhood Experiences. They explained that these are serious childhood traumas that can damage a child’s brain and prevent them from learning, playing with other children in healthy ways, and can cause long-term health problems.
The advocates announced the number one objective of Project LAUNCH is to increase access to screening, assessment, and referral to appropriate services for young children and their families. In addition to providing direct services, Project LAUNCH communities increase knowledge about healthy child development through public education campaigns and cross-disciplinary workforce development.
While parents were learning about this exciting new program and how it can impact them, the children enjoyed creating, building, and coding with the use of STEM toys. Kindergarteners through third graders were led by students from the Payette High School’s Early Childhood Class, and
Payette Primary Staff Members. The night culminated with delicious Chicken Noodle Soup and rolls carefully prepared by the Payette High School Culinary Class, under the supervision of Instructor Christina Higley.