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Impact 100 Awards $10,000 Grant to Tiger Paw

Early intervention can make a lifelong impact on a child’s life. That’s why Katy Stark, the nurse at Ozark School District’s Tiger Paw Early Childhood Center, is so excited to have received a $10,000 grant from Impact 100.

“At this young age, it’s so important to intervene,” she said. “The difference we can make with kids at this age — where they can see or hear what they are trying to learn — will follow them for the rest of their lives.”

The grant will be used to purchase various screening items, including a spot photoscreener, which is a device used to improve accuracy and efficiency of vision screenings.

“Oftentimes our kids can’t tell us the shapes used in our vision screening. Sometimes they can’t see it so it looks like they are refusing to participate. Sometimes they just don’t want to do it. Sometimes they don’t understand what we’re asking. Sometimes they are just too little,” Stark said. “The photoscreener manages to hold a child’s attention with engaging lights and sounds. Children 6 months and up can be screened in seconds using this device.”

Impact 100 Ozark is a philanthropic organization designed to “empower women to dramatically improve lives by collectively funding significant grants that make a lasting impact in and around Ozark.”

The group awarded $44,000 to three local organizations on Sept. 11: $10,000 to Tiger Paw; $10,000 to Route 66 Rescue Shelter; and $24,000 to Lift Up Ozark.

“Impact 100 is about bringing women together to donate and then give back a large sum of money,” said Patty Quessenberry, a member of Impact 100 as well as an Ozark School Board member. “I think it’s amazing that this many women can come together and make such a big difference.”

The Tiger Paw grant not only allows the purchase of the photoscreener, but also a screening partition, a scale that measures weight and height, and a new audiometer, which tests hearing.

The photoscreener and the audiometer will help identify children with hearing or vision deficits so they can be referred for diagnosis and treatment at an earlier age.

“It will exponentially improve a child’s foundation for learning,” Stark said.

Stark said her next goal is to purchase a new OAE machine to measure otoacoustic emissions, which determines how well a person’s inner ear works. Unlike an audiometer, a child doesn’t have to interact for an OAE to work.

All of this is in an effort for better early intervention, not only for Tiger Paw students, but all children in the District.

“We don’t just do mass screenings once a year. We do screenings every day through Parents as Teachers. They see kids from birth to kindergarten eligibility,” said Stark, adding that the District also works with community childcare centers. “So it’s available to all kids in the District. If anybody has a concern, they can reach out to us.”

Tiger Paw Nurse Katy Stark checks student Keaton Monsanto’s hearing.  Tiger Paw Nurse Katy Stark checks student Keaton Monsanto’s hearing.