May is Speech and Hearing Month. Each year, Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC) dedicates the month of May to raising public awareness about communication disorders and the professionals who can help. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly-trained professionals who are focused on the prevention, identification and management of communication disorders. Many of us take our ability to communicate for granted. Yet the ability to speak, hear and be heard is much more vital to our everyday lives than most of us realize.
The Strait Regional Centre for Education (SRCE) has even more to celebrate this year as our Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) staff have recently been awarded a $5,000 Program Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) Grant for their project entitled, Talking in Two's: Setting up the Classroom for Purposeful Talk. Congratulations to Sheri Lambourne, Nicole Corkum, Leanne Lowther, Paige Cameron and Allyson Trainor on this award!
This project is designed to support the oral language skills of students entering Grade Primary. It is recognized that creating more opportunities for speaking and listening by promoting purposeful talk in the classroom is crucial to a child’s oral language development. All elementary schools within the SRCE will be receiving "oral language kits" comprised of materials targeting oral description, turn-taking, sentence formulation, question comprehension and vocabulary/word knowledge growth. These materials may be used in small group settings or in centers. Teachers will monitor the progress of their students by completing qualitative speaking and listening profiles thereby tracking the effectiveness of this project.
Speech-Language Pathologists in the Strait Regional Centre for Education contribute to school programming and provide services for students. They work closely with school staff, including school planning teams, teachers, teacher assistants, parents/guardians and outside agencies, such as the Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Clinic, to support the communication skills of students. Speech-Language Pathologists also work with students on their reading and writing skills to enhance literacy development. "Our Speech-Language Pathologists are valued members of our school teams who assist students with a wide range of communications needs to help them succeed in their school program. I extend my congratulations to them on receiving this funding which will enable us to provide additional support to our students," said Sharon MacCuspic, Director of Programs and Student Services for the Strait Regional Centre for Education.
For more information related to Speech-Language Pathology services. The brochure, Speech-Language Pathology (S-LP) Services: A Guide for Parents/Guardians, may be accessed by clicking on this link or by contacting your local school or Regional Centre office. In addition, Speech-Language & Audiology Canada has developed an information piece on Language and Literacy Skills and has further resources available on the Speech-Language & Audiology Canada website.
Speech-Language Pathologists play a vital role in supporting students with communication difficulties. Please join us in celebrating Speech & Hearing Month!
The PDAF Grant is funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. The PDAF is intended to encourage innovative ideas at the local school level which significantly and directly enhance the delivery of programs and services to students. The Fund provides teachers with financial support to initiate creative and innovative teaching practices.