Early Success Coordinator Spearheads MCC Initiative

(Bradenton, Fla., Sept. 17, 2006) - Kathie DiPinto has been named coordinator of an Early Success initiative at Manatee Community College (MCC) Bradenton that is funded by the Florida Legislature. The program's focus is young children at risk of having learning problems. DiPinto is responsible for providing outreach to social service agencies, schools, families, health and other community organizations to improve awareness of, access to, and integration of developmental screening and early intervention services.

DiPinto has more than 10 years' experience in children and family services. Formerly clinical manager of a psychiatric day treatment program for preschool children in Kent County, R.I., she also served as chair of the Kent County Child and Adolescent Service Systems Program, which collaborated and provided access to community services for children and adolescents with emotional disturbances. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in social work with a concentration on children and youth.

Early Success Program is a collaborative effort to identify disabilities in children from birth to age 3 through early screening; education of professionals, parents and caregivers; and subsequent advocacy for children with developmental needs. DiPinto is working with community agencies toward creating a clearinghouse where children can be screened, evaluated and matched up with appropriate community resources.

"I have always worked with children and families. This position is giving me the opportunity to help families avoid a crisis. In the preventative stages, we can identify an issue so a crisis can be diverted, developmentally, emotionally or physically," said DiPinto.

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