Beginning on Monday, June 23, Radford University's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders (COSD) and the Scottish Rite Foundation will sponsor three clinics to help New River Valley children develop and enhance their communication and literacy skills while providing support to their families.
RU faculty and graduate student clinicians will provide assessments and therapy to more than 50 clients who have applied to participate in the program and will attend for free.
The RiteCare© clinics will culminate with a luncheon and program on Tuesday, July 11, in honor of the Virginia Orient of the Scottish Rite and the Scottish Rite Foundation, which has partnered with Radford University since 1995 to offer the Summer RiteCare© Clinics.
"We are excited to be able to offer three summer programs for children again this summer due to the generosity of the Scottish Rite Foundation," said COSD Chair Diane Millar. "In addition to our faculty, we are inviting school-based speech-language pathologists from Floyd, Botetourt and Bland counties to join us. These collaborative efforts will allow us to create a rich, fun environment for teaching speech, language, literacy and social skills."
The 2014 Summer Rite Care programs are:
- The seventh annual Family Autism Camp, an intensive family-oriented program that teams children without impairments and children with autism to create an environment for improving communication and social skills, said Millar, camp coordinator. Parents of the participants also attend the camp to learn how to help their children at home with the lessons learned. The camp, themed around super heroes, will begin on Monday, June 23.
- The Language and Literacy Summer Institute is led by Assistant COSD Professor Elizabeth Lanter and Gary Pillow of Floyd County Public Schools. The institute will provide 25 children from preschool to middle school with treatment programs that bolster their oral and written language skills. The institute, which begins on Monday, June 30, is supported by a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund.
- The Speech Sound camp, led by Hillary Billings ‘01, M.S. '03 and the speech-language pathologist (SLP) for the Bland County Schools, will help preschool-aged children who have difficulty speaking or being understood due to phonological or articulation disorders. The camp will begin on Monday, June 30.
"We can help many different children thanks to our faculty and the speech-language pathologists who are coming in from our neighboring areas," said Millar. "It is a wonderful opportunity for us to exchange ideas and have our graduate students involved in this collaborative process."
A staff of 31 graduate students and 15 undergraduate and graduate student volunteers will serve children with a range of disabilities, under the supervision of COSD faculty and the visiting SLP's from Botetourt, Floyd and Bland County schools. Five RU COSD graduate students will receive fellowships from the Scottish Rite Foundation to participate in the 2014 RiteCare© Summer Clinics.
"The faculty and graduate students of the COSD department have never been more motivated and determined to serve so many children and their families," Millar said.