First 5 investment in Madera County to benefit Oakhurst, North Fork

A preschooler getting her eyes checked on the Tzu Chi Vision Mobile Unit.
A preschooler getting her eyes checked on the Tzu Chi Vision Mobile Unit.

First 5 Madera County is making a $250,000 investment this year, benefiting communities like Oakhurst and North Fork.

According to a First 5 news release, the investment will aim to tackle various challenges children face in their first five years of life, including their vision, dental health and education. The investment was approved on June 6 during a commission meeting of the organization.

Mang Thao, deputy director of First 5 Madera, said there will be a concentrated effort to make sure the programs benefit the mountain communities of eastern Madera County.

Among the projects that will see funding, the Tzu Chil Mobile Vision Clinic will provide vision screenings to over 250 preschoolers. Plus, Camarena Health will work on a "Tooth Fairy Project" that uses pediatric dentist to identify oral health needs in over 1,200 children.

Children will also be treated to a visit from the Tooth Fairy, who will demonstrate proper brushing and oral health habits through song.

The Tooth Fairy Project will be deployed throughout Oakhurst and North Fork through the Madera and Mariposa Regional Head Start program.

There is no set date for the start of the project, as Head Start will work with teachers and administrators to decide on a start date.