Laughlin Children’s Center will offer two camps focused on pre-reading skills later this month. Karen Tecco Graham, a speech-language therapist at the center, will lead the small group lessons for pre-kindergarteners and those children entering kindergarten in the fall.
“We had such a successful summer last year, with our ‘Ocean of Sounds’ camp, that I felt it made sense to break the class up by age, so we can use developmentally-appropriate strategies specific to each age group,” Graham stated. “By teaching speech sound awareness, encouraging active listening, and promoting other reading readiness skills like rhyming and segmenting words into syllables and sounds, we can really set up the children for success, in reading and spelling,” shared Laughlin speech department director, Patti Bennett, CCC-SLP.
She explained that communication is the cornerstone for all learning and social interaction. “Whether it is reading, writing, or talking, people who have communication deficits as young children are at a disadvantage as they move into the school-aged years. Early intervention for struggling students is essential, and opportunities like “Camp Sounds” for students with identified speech-language weaknesses, as well as their typically-developing peers, are important since they offer pragmatic, real-life communication lessons.”
Phonological awareness, the topic Graham will work on with the groups this summer, is a language skill that involves understanding the different ways in which spoken language can be broken down and manipulated. Acquisition of this skill is the most important factor in learning to read and spell. According to Graham, "we can promote literacy even before formal reading instruction has begun." By teaching basic, building-block phonological skills, she hopes to open up the world of reading to her young campers.
The 60-minute “Camp Sounds” sessions run from Monday, June 25th, through Friday, June 29th, at 9:30 and 11 am. For more information on registering for the communication camp, or any of the Center’s other speech-language services such as evaluations or therapy, contact Laughlin at 412.741.4087, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.