Early Childhood Investment Team pushes local survey


December 12, 2019

Hill County Early Childhood Investment Team is urging people to help them find out what the community needs for small children.

“The main project we are working on right now is the community survey,” Montana State University Extension Agent Jasmine Carbajal said. “It is vital for Hill County families with young children from zero to 8 years old to answer the survey because it’ll help us learn about their needs and how to better invest our efforts. It only takes about 10 minutes and it will help us focus our resources in the county.”

People interested in taking the survey can visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NFCSDH8?fbclid=IwAR0t5NaoR9teOU-iSTrlqStf-pJS9ZDXikW2C7XBsk6jjeRab7MjyITE-XE or http://bit.ly/2YDXN1g .

ECIT Coalition and Family Engagement Coordinator Tina Thomas said the team is a coalition of service providers, volunteers, educators, health professionals and anyone in Hill County who has an interest in families who have children from zero to 8 years of age.

“Early childhood, to us, is through the age of 8, so we look at those kids during those first eight years of their life,” Thomas said. “We know that there are lots of programs available and services available and we want to make sure we are meeting all the needs families have here and our programs are working together, partnering trying to not duplicate services, but fill in the gaps.”

She said the ECIT shares resources and training continuity exists between all the programs available for families.

She added that Bullhook Community Health Center, Havre Public Schools, Hill County Health Department, Northern Montana Hospital and other organizations are a few examples who partner with ECIT.

“We just try to find anybody in Hill County that has interest in families or providing services to families,” Thomas said. “We really need to reach out to the Hi-Line, we really need to reach out to Rudyard, Kremlin, Gildford and find out what families along the Hi-Line need. And definitely we need to build strong partnerships with Box Elder and Rocky Boy.”

Retired Havre Registered Nurse Sue Swan said she got involved in ECIT because one of her jobs in working with the health department in giving immunizations and because of the health literacy the coalition has.

“Another thing I’m doing with ECIT is, we call it a welcome wagon, where we put together a packet of information to give to realtors to distribute about children’s activities here in the community. So that’s been my interest, and, besides, it’s a really fun group,” Swan said.

“I enjoy being part of ECIT because it is a space where different organizations can collaborate with each other to better support our families, especially those with young children, in our community,” Carbajal said. “We are able to learn about what each organization is doing and come together and help whenever possible.’

The next ECIT meeting will be held Wednesday, Jan. 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the District 4 Human Resources Development Council Activity Room.

People can contact Thomas at 390-4772 with any questions or for more information.


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