Marywood Speech program awarded grant

Photo credit/ student, student

Katie Wilcox, a graduate student studying speech language pathology gives Lawrence Abbatiello a hearing screening.

Brigid Edmunds, News Editor

Marywood’s Speech Language Pathology program has received the Blue Ribbon Grant from The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Andrea Novak, clinical assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders, explained that the grant was something they applied for back in the spring.

“I submit any ideas that I have for any projects that the clinic can get involved in and they [Corporate/ Foundation Relations] find the appropriate matches for us in terms of any available grants,” Novak said.

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs was also involved in helping with the grant.

The grant was awarded to the program on July 11, 2013 in the amount of $12,589.00. Novak explained that the graduate student clinicians in the program have been using the money to work with the Head Start program in Lackawanna County to give hearing screenings and work with students to see how their language skills have developed.

Novak explained that the children in the Head Start centers need to have their hearing checked annually. With the grant, the graduate students in the speech program go in to provide hearing screenings for all the children and check if they possibly have delays in their speech and language development.

The second part of the project Novak explained, was to work with the children in the centers with “language stimulation groups.” The groups would consist of the student clinicians who would choose a theme and come up with different activities for the children to do that relate to speech and language development.

First-year graduate student Katherine DeTurk has done some screenings at the Head Start center. DeTurk will do her stimulation group, which will have a Thanksgiving theme, at the end of the month.  Her group will do activities that will include guessing games, question and answers, and games that will help with the children’s language development and stimulation.

DeTurk said her experience has helped her with working with children.

“We’re taking what we learned in the classroom and applying it clinically,” said DeTurk.

Second-year grad student, Kelsey Dunn, has done both the screenings and the stimulation groups. Dunn said that going to Head Start has been beneficial to the graduate students in the program.

“It’s an excellent opportunity and experience for us,” Dunn said.

One of Dunn’s stimulation groups had the theme of a carnival.

“We read a book about a roller coaster. We had them do roller coaster movements and answer questions about it,” Dunn explained. They observed how well the children would follow directions with different concepts.

“I can’t say enough good things [about the experience],” Dunn said.