This year was Monitor Elementary's first year to open its doors to students. The students and staff have been using this year to set traditions for our school that we hope will continue for years to come. I decided that a great tradition to start would be to celebrate the hard work that of all Monitor's speech and language kids do to achieve their goals and the effort they put into increasing their speech and language skills. I also wanted to make the staff and student body knowledgeable about speech, language and hearing disorders. Better Speech and Hearing month presented a perfect time to do this and a great time to celebrate the children's achievements and to draw attention to the communication needs in our students.
To celebrate, we kicked off the month with a speech party. All children receiving speech/language therapy were personally invited by invitation to attend a speech party complete with fun speech activities, games and, of course, balloons and cake. All students received a speech award and those students who were dismissed from speech therapy throughout the year were given their speech diplomas at the party. We also created a huge May calendar to hang in the hallway by the speech room. Everyday a student would put up a new speech, language or hearing fact for everyone to read as they walked the hallways. Every week, I distributed speech and language information that would be beneficial to use in the classroom. This month, during therapy sessions, I took the opportunity to talk with my children about how important communication is and how we can help ourselves and others communicate better.
The speech kids loved the activities and the party. Teachers commented that the children left their speech party beaming and feeling very special. This is exactly what I hoped would be accomplished this month. A lot of these children struggle in their grade level curriculum and are usually frustrated at their inability to succeed like their peers. This month has been a great way for me and their teachers to recognize their success no matter how small. This month has been their month to shine! We are already looking forward to next May to continue the tradition.
Andrea Ingram MS, CCC-SLP