NEWS | Sept. 21, 2011

JB CHS to host special needs fair

By Airman 1st Class Jared Trimarchi Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Joint Base Charleston will host the Child Find/Exceptional Family Member Program Extravaganza 'Special Needs Fair' Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Marrington Plantation at Joint Base Charleston-Weapons Station.

The event is for families who have children 18-years-old and under who have special needs. The extravaganza will feature fun, food, games, prizes, music and more than 20 local resource agencies.

"The fair is designed to help families with children who have special needs while having a good time and keeping them aware of the resources available on and off base," said Okereta Mills, EFMP coordinator from the 628th Air Base Wing Force Support Squadron. "It's also a great way for families to network, talk about their struggles and share their solutions."

Child Find is a program designed to help identify children with disabilities who are in need of early intervention or special education, she said.

The event is sponsored by the Air Force Aid Society, Youth Programs Child Find Grant, Exceptional Family Member Program, School Liaison Office, Child Development Center, Youth Programs and JB CHS.

More than 150 people attended last year's event, but due to joint basing, Mills expects the number to double.

"Last year's fair was a great success," Mills said. "This year we are expecting more than 300 people to attend. It's going to be a good time for the children and their parents and a great tool for more information regarding children with special needs."

For more information, contact Okereta Mills at 963-4411.

Volunteers interested in helping out during the event should contact Master Sgt. Ricky Smith at 963-5630.