My first reading club facilitation, a few years ago, I was excited to introduce a group of fourth and fifth graders to the world of reading. Every Saturday for two hours, we read the adventures of Felicity and her love of words. To connect the kids to the story, we talked about places they lived or visited, made rhymes out of the words and even made a song using the words learned. Two things I learned from my first session: the children enjoyed word association and the games we played as we read the book; and lastly, to keep the boys engaged I needed to find books that showcased their interests.
When I started the project for the language and literacy journey, I had no idea what direction I would go. I decided to let the writer in me decide. Lavy starting off with strong language and literacy skills until an infection left her hearing impaired. Lavy also was born to naturalized parents from Ecuador and Jamaica. Throughout the project I also envisioned Lavy with strong reading skills. Her problems were more related to speech, along with low self-esteem. In the project I presented an action plan that involved music, reading and full participation from her father, her extended family , her speech and hearing specialist and her teachers. By the end of the project, Lavy had successful overcome many obstacles and her speech had improved tremendously. In retrospect it would have been nice to actually researched and observed Lavy’s overall performance from grades 1-4, that included how well she mastered other social skills, math, science and social studies.
Although Lavy was a character of my imagination, there are hundreds of children that experience her same dilemna everyday. The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA, 2016) recommends that therapists and teachers incorporate the following interventions: motor skills planning, sensory cueing, linguistic and rhythmic and providing more than one or a combination of theories and practices. As an advocate for reading, it’s important to remember that literacy encompasses speech, writing, phoenics, vocabulary and comprehension. All of these skills are required not only for academic success but success in life.
What I’ve learned from this course is invaluable. Parts of these discussions and assignments I will carry forward as I continue to advocate for reading clubs and programs throughout my county and school district.
American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). 2016. Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Retrieved from http://www.asha.org/EvidenceMapLanding.aspx?id=8589936369&recentarticles=false&year=undefined&tab=all
Lloyd, Natalie (2014). A Snicker of Magic. Publisher: Scholastic Press.