BHSM Stories: Westerville City Schools

Westerville, Ohio

This year, I decided to do some "outreach" with the kindergarten and first grade classes in my schools. I arranged for 1/2 hour visits in each classroom. I introduced myself to the students and we talked about what I "teach" at our school. I read the Helen Lester book, "Hooway for Wodney Wat" and discussed with the students how it feels to be a person who has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly, have other students teasing and making fun, and then how it feels to use one's words to "banish" a bully! We also talked parts of the ASHA, Progressus, and TheraSimplicity handout for BHSM pertaining to students. The cover is great, because it pictures boys and girls communicating in different ways. The students were able to relate those pictures with their own experiences. They were all excited about the word search, as well as the bookmark, and the body parts we need for communication. This activity helped to de-mystify what classmates do when I work with them, helped to increase other students' sensitivity toward other people with communication disorders, and significantly increased the number of greetings I have been receiving when I encounter students in the hallways. I received thank you letters from one class that were so heartwarming. I'll definitely repeat this activity with kindergartners and first-graders in the future!

Submitted by: Jane Leemhuis, MA, CCC-SLP

ASHA Corporate Partners