Identifying Young Students' Health Problems

Every year, the Alamance Burlington School System collects a wealth of data on new kindergarteners. Parents and pediatricians fill out forms that the schools keep on file so they can understand what health problems the children might have. 

In 2015, Impact Alamance partnered with Elon University to collect all that information and enter it (minus individually identifying information) into a database, so schools and the community could better understand the health challenges young students might face, and how those might affect their academic success.

Jean Rattigan-Rohr, associate professor in the Elon University School of Education, director of the university’s Center for Access and Success and executive director of community partnerships, oversaw the study. 

“What we found is that many children in the county have asthma and allergies,” she says. “There are also significant obesity problems among young children and some issues with speech language delays.”

The data helps establish a baseline as the community works on ways to improve the health and school readiness of young children. It will also help guide future Impact Alamance grants.