VSU summer program helps students with learning disorders

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Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 8:42 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A new summer program at Valdosta State University’s (VSU) Speech and Hearing clinic helps students with learning disabilities, all for free.

Graduate students in the Master of Education in Communication disorders program provide the services.

Twice a week for 30 minutes, Jacinta Howell takes her son Kenneth to VSU’s RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders, located inside the on-campus Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Howell said her son struggled with reading.

In hopes of improving his fluency this summer, she signed him up.

“You are your child’s best advocate. When you see your child struggling with something, it’s important that you advocate for them,” said Howell.

She said Kenneth enjoys coming and they’ve noticed his reading fluency improve.

The program lasts 6-8 weeks.

The clinic gives the university students hands-on experience and knowledge to use after graduation.

At the start of the program, each student is evaluated and services are tailored to their needs.

The summer program helps students with learning disorders.
The summer program helps students with learning disorders.(WALB)

“We really understand that a one size fits all approach isn’t going to have the reach that we need to have the impact because this city, like many cities, has a relatively low success rate when it comes to reading scores for our students and we’re hoping by giving lots of available option to the community, that we will be able to have a really positive impact on our student’s success rate,” said Matthew Carter, associate professor in the Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders.

Carter said the Scottish Rite Foundation funds the program.

He said a similar program in fall and spring showed success rates for participating students.

VSU is working to expand these efforts and partnered up with the Boys and Girls Club. They plan to provide service after school.

Graduates in the speech-language pathology program provide the services.
Graduates in the speech-language pathology program provide the services.(WALB)

“It feels great to have a program to go to, especially for low-income families that may not be able to afford something. They operate off of donations, so to be able to get services when needed, it’s a really important thing for our community,” said Howell.

If your child has any type of reading disorder, dyslexia or learning disability, the next program starts in the fall. It’ll be provided at different sites throughout the area.

Click here for more information.

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