The Garden City Telegram
3/25/2014
SOUTHWEST LIFE

RCDC bus a sign of a proactive family

RCDC bus a sign of a proactive family

By DEANNA BERRY

Executive Director

Russell Child Development Center

Do you sometimes see vehicles with Russell Child Development Center (RCDC) stickers in your neighborhood and wonder what they are doing? We have over 20 vehicles roving Southwest Kansas, so it's no surprise if you have!

If you see one of our cars parked in a neighbor's driveway, an RCDC staff member could be there for any number of reasons. For example, a registered nurse from RCDC might be providing a free developmental screening for a newborn, which consists of vision and hearing checks, or one of our therapists could be providing regular early intervention services for an infant or toddler needing physical or speech language therapy. These services are available to any child aged birth to 3 in Southwest Kansas. Or, it's possible that a specially trained teacher might be visiting to assist with parenting questions using the Triple P Positive Parenting Program. All of these services are available to children and families in our service area regardless of economic status.

RCDC is affiliated with the Garden City USD 457 School District and contracts with them to access transportation for special education. The school district conducts general vehicle servicing and maintenance on all of our cars; therefore, you will also see the USD 457 sticker on RCDC vehicles.

Russell Child Development Center sponsors a number of different early childhood programs in 18 southwest Kansas counties, so it is likely you will see our vehicles in various community locations on a regular basis. Because our main office is in Garden City and our service delivery area is so large, agency vehicles for staff travel are a necessity. RCDC does not have the resources to provide a visible brick-and-mortar office in every community, so when you see those vehicles cruise by just know that our staff members are logging an average of 205 miles per week to make regular visits, and to provide services in your hometown and surrounding rural residences.

It is important for all community members to be informed about the profound effect early experiences have on a child's developing brain. By encouraging positive relationships and providing high quality environments for children in their preschool years, research shows we can truly make a difference in their school and life success. When you see a vehicle at someone's residence, you can assume that a parent or caregiver is being proactive in utilizing available supports and services to meet the individual needs of their children. Please reinforce the efforts of young parents to engage in available early learning opportunities and let them know you support them in the challenging journey of parenthood. As a community, that's what we are here for.