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Congrats to our 2019 Sound Start Graduates!

Toddlers, Babies, and Books, Oh My!

How to Introduce Toddlers and Babies to Books

Do you ever question when the best time is to introduce your little one to books? The answer is anytime is the best time! Interacting and making reading fun for your little one is important for their future engagements with books and reading to nurture literacy skills early on. Zerotothree.com notes that reading a few minutes at a time is okay, so do not worry if you do not finish the entire book. This is because, as you may know, young children cannot sit for more than a few minutes. What counts is that you are introducing books to your little one and reading to them a little at a time.

According to zerotothree.com, there are multiple ways to make your little one comfortable with reading. Talking or singing the pictures instead of reading the words offers a different take on reading time because they will become more engaged. Another way to help your little one become comfortable with reading is by letting them turn the pages. Babies and toddlers often enjoy being independent, so by allowing them to turn the page of the book, they feel involved. Not only is it important to let your child be independent during reading time, but it is also important to engage them and explain what you are doing. By showing children the cover page of each book, this describes what the story is about or they can guess what the story is about. Showing children the words by running your finger left to right across the words engages them more, and creating voices of characters and using body movements makes the story come alive.

Thank you all for recognizing us as one of the best!

New Beginner’s Sign Language Class – March 19th through May 7th

American Sign Language Class : Beginners

We will be offering a new Beginner’s Sign Language Class. Here are the details:

  • March 19th through May 7th 2019
  • 8 week course – 6 PM to 7:30 PM
  • Crystal Clarkson-Miccoli – Instructor
  • $85 for 8 weeks
  • Class size is limited to 15 people and you must be 13 years old to register

Preregister by filling out the form below and dropping it off at the center or mailing it to:

Savannah Speech & Hearing Center
1206 East 66th Street
Savannah, Georgia 31404

New Beginner’s Sign Language Class – January 22nd through March 12th

American Sign Language Class : Beginners

We will be offering a new Beginner’s Sign Language Class. Here are the details:

  • January 22nd through March 12th 2019
  • 8 week course – 6 PM to 7:30 PM
  • Crystal Clarkson-Miccoli – Instructor
  • $85 for 8 weeks
  • Class size is limited to 15 people and you must be 13 years old to register

Preregister by filling out the form below and dropping it off at the center or mailing it to:

Savannah Speech & Hearing Center
1206 East 66th Street
Savannah, Georgia 31404

Merry Christmas from all of us at Sound Start!

SSHC Receives Thanks For Giving Holiday Program Grant from The Rite Aid Foundation

This season of giving, Savannah Speech and Hearing Center is receiving a special gift from The Rite Aid Foundation, which is helping us to continue making a difference in the lives of children in our community.

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media, and to celebrate, The Rite Aid Foundation has generously gifted us with a $5,000 grant as part of its KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program.

We also have the opportunity to receive an additional grant of $2,500 by being the charity that has the most likes, shares and comments on our social media posts on #GivingTuesday. Please be sure to check out our Facebook page on Tuesday, November 27 and help us spread the word!

Our team has decided to use this grant to assist our Sound Start program with needed learning and therapy materials, tests, and educational toys for the children.

The Rite Aid Foundation created the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program to help us support our efforts to improve the health, safety and well-being of local kids. In total, The Rite Aid Foundation is donating $2.2 million to more than 440 charities as part of this program.

“#GivingTuesday is a global celebration of giving, and on this day, we wanted to recognize our KidCents charities for all they do to make positive impact in the communities we serve,” said Tracy Henderson, director of The Rite Aid Foundation and charitable giving initiatives. “Through the KidCents Thanks For Giving Holiday program, we want to recognize and support organizations that are focused on giving all year round. We thank all our KidCents charity partners for helping to give kids better lives and brighter futures.” 

We look forward to continuing our partnership with The Rite Aid Foundation and are excited by the opportunities that KidCents brings to our organization and those we help.

Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy, healthy new year!

We’re proud of our Sound Start program and the success for children like Caroline!

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center is proud of our Sound Start program and the success for children like Caroline! Please watch her story in the link below. One For All…All for One…please support this year’s United Way campaign, so programs like Sound Start can continue to make a difference in children’s lives. Thank You!

Summer Screen Time

As we officially kicked off summer last week, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ASHA provided some helpful information in helping parents with limiting the amount of screen time used especially with tech-obsessed children.

Here is their Digital Diet for managing technology in children, allowing more time for conversation and human interaction which are key to a child’s communication health and development.

  • Create a family technology plan—together. An agreed upon set of rules around family members’ technology use (when, where, how much, for what, with whom, etc.) is a good way to keep everyone on track. By involving your kids in the process, you are more likely to achieve the results you want. Technology is often an integral part of older children’s’ social experience—so being respectful of this will help. Schedule regular check-ins to see how the plan is working and to determine whether you’re actually substituting tech time with more quality time together.
  • Sign a pledge. Make your plan official by having family members sign a pledge. It helps hold everyone accountable. This is a model that has been used for years, especially when it comes to issues such as drinking and driving, texting and driving, etc. Here are some examples from Common Sense Media that you can use and modify. Focus on the positive replacements for technology, such as uninterrupted family dinners.
  • Keep a log. How much time does everyone in your family spend online? Alternatively, how much time does the family spend talking and engaging in activities together? Just as a food diary can be eye opening, keeping a log of a typical tech week may help identify habits to change and goals to set in terms of family bonding and communication.
  • Sponsor tech-free nights/events. Whether it’s a game night, a neighborhood block party, or another type of gathering, going tech-free on occasion can provide rich opportunities to build family and social relationships.
  • Designate tech-free zones in the home. The kitchen, bedrooms, the family room . . . there may be one place in your home that you can keep devices out of, as a general rule. This helps with the temptation to constantly check your phone or jump at the sound of every incoming notification. It makes a difference to even have 30 minutes free from tech distractions.
  • Talk over text, when possible. Texting offers tremendous convenience for parents to get in touch with their kids. But texting is not a replacement for verbal exchange. Tone, facial expressions, and other nonverbal signals are just some of the ways in which texting falls short (emojis don’t do the trick). Try to avoid texting your child when both of you are at home, as a start.
  • Take a vacation from your technology. Some parents have turned to tech-free vacations to connect more with their kids. Unplugging completely may not be realistic for everyone. However, there may be specific activities or times when you can leave the devices behind. Family communication can increase. Everyone will be “in the moment” instead of documenting the moment for Facebook or Instagram.
  • Listen safely. Many kids spend hours a day with the volume cranked up, using headphones or earbuds. Unfortunately, they are putting their hearing at serious risk. This damage is irreversible. The World Health Organization has labeled unsafe listening an international health threat—1.1 billion young people are at risk of harming their hearing from unsafe listening of personal tech devices or at noisy entertainment venues. This is a message that children need to “hear” from their parents.

Remember that kids will be watching their parents’ habits closely. Practice what you preach when it comes to limiting tech use. Keep yourself on the same digital diet that you set for your children

Happy Summer!

SSHC Celebrates the Sound Start Class of 2018

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center Celebrates the Sound Start Class of 2018, An Auditory/Oral Program for Children with Hearing Loss

SAVANNAH, Ga. – Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, a nonprofit organization serving the speech pathology and audiology needs of the Coastal Empire, celebrate the Sound Start Class of 2018 earlier this month. The Class of 2018 included three graduates who will move on to K-5 this fall.

The three graduates moving on to K-5 earned reading, sight word reading and math awards. Additional awards were given to other students including phonics listening award, the award for reading over 200 books with parents, as well as citizenship and friendship awards. All students presented progress performances in areas of listening, reading, language development, vocabulary, phonemic awareness and speech.

This year’s ceremony was themed “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?”, representing the ability to break through communication barriers to become a strong oral/aural communicator who is able to understand and use spoken language.

“Our goal is to teach children with hearing loss to listen, speak and understand spoken language in order to be successful in a mainstream educational setting,” said Tracy Edenfield, teacher at Sound Start. “I could not be more proud of the class of 2018 and all that they have achieved in order to move on to the next level in their education.”

In August 2007, the Board of Directors of Savannah Speech and Hearing Center approved the Sound Start program, a never-before-available service in this area – an auditory/oral preschool program. With the help of dedicated staff and community support as well as a coordinated effort with Calvary Day School in Savannah, Sound Start opened its doors to children with hearing loss of Savannah and the surrounding communities in Georgia and South Carolina whose families had chosen spoken language as the communication option for their child. Thus far, the program has been an overwhelming success.


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