I am a speech and language pathologist at a High School in Connecticut. I work with a diverse mix of amazing students from ages 14-22, who come from a variety of cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. Most of my students have Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and present with developmental disabilities.
Goals for my students include language, literacy, vocabulary, social skills, and even fluency (stuttering).
I am here to help support their academic, social, and sometimes emotional needs as they make their way through high school. Mental health, motivation, and self-esteem factor critically into the lives of my students, and I aim to support those elements in addition to fostering academic independence.
I understand that feeling connected and engaged in a classroom (or speech room!) not only depends on quality materials, but also on the environment. With the help of Donors Choose projects, I hope to acquire literacy materials, craft materials, and decorative items to liven up our shared space so I can make learning feel fun and inviting!
As a speech-language pathologist, I address language goals - sentence structure, vocabulary, comprehension, sequencing, story grammar, etc. - and there is no better resource to teach these goals than a book. Although I have attempted to utilize classic curriculum-based books (i.e., The Scarlet Letter) with the students on my caseload, I notice that the content is difficult for them to relate to, and the language, in particular, is too complex for them to get through.
In an effort to reach my students through their own interests, cultural backgrounds, experiences, and reading/language level, I am building a library of specially curated Young Adult novels to use in therapy.
Many of the books I selected cover topics high schoolers in an urban setting may relate to, including racism, sexual assault, refugee life, new love, difficult family situations, friendships, sports, and consequences of bad decisions. My hope is to engage my students - to get on their level, so I can leverage the content to help foster language skills - and to show them that books are enjoyable, relevant, and within their academic reach.
I appreciate your support in helping me to encourage literacy for ALL students, especially those with language disabilities living in more urban settings. Let's offer some critical resources where they are lacking.
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