Summers at CID: How enrichment programs benefit students
by Andrea Osman, MSDE, MPPA
CID is dedicated to continuing educational and enriching opportunities for children with hearing loss over the summer. We have an extended school year program for current students, but what happens after students graduate? That’s where the summer enrichment program comes into play!
CID Summer Enrichment Program
In 2012, CID offered its first summer enrichment program for graduates of CID and their hearing siblings. The program was created to provide opportunities for children who are deaf and hard of hearing in the general education setting receiving minimal support to reconnect with their peers who have hearing loss.
For years, CID had requests from parents for graduates of the program to return to CID’s Extended School Year (ESY), which is five weeks each summer. CID always made room for these students, but it wasn’t the best fit. The purpose of CID’s ESY is to ensure that students do not regress in their speech, language, listening and academic skills over the summer. Meanwhile, graduates of CID are in general education settings and no longer need the same amount of specialized services or qualify for their district’s ESY program. Therefore, placing graduates in classes with current CID students was not the ideal placement option for either group. However, graduates are often times the only students in their current school placement who are deaf and hard of hearing, and are eager to reconnect with friends from CID. Therefore, in 2012, CID sought to provide a summer experience to for CID graduates focused on appropriate social experiences to enhance or improve students’ listening, speech, vocabulary, language and peer relationship skills.
The Enrichment Program
From 2012 to 2017, the program consisted of two 2-week sessions, Monday-Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm. The program was geared for graduates of CID ages 6-12 and their similar-aged siblings with typical hearing. Each session revolved around a theme with a culminating activity to be presented by students to friends and family. Past themes have included: theater, art, photography, mystery madness, summer sleuths and journalism. Students also have the opportunity to attend at least one, sometimes multiple, afternoon field trip around St Louis with the ESY students. In addition, CID has provided families with standardized assessment results and recommendations as appropriate in the areas of vocabulary, language and reading if testing had not been completed by a clinic or school within the past year.
Where are we now?
For 2018, CID has made some changes based on enrollment trends and feedback from families. First, we have reduced the two 2-week sessions to two 1-week sessions, to better accommodate families vacation schedules as well as to allow students to attend other camps in the region. Secondly, we have added a third one-week session for students ages 11-14 after determining that there is very little programming for students who are deaf and hard of hearing in this age range in the St Louis area. The session for 11-14 year olds is focused on community outreach in the morning hours from 9 am to 12 pm and fun, social-activities in and around the St Louis area from 12 to 4 pm. Finally, CID has extended the program to Fridays for all 3 sessions, so students will now attend from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.
Targeted benefits of the program
- Opportunity to work on speech, language and vocabulary skills with a teacher of deaf who is trained in listening and spoken language
- Practice using speech and language skills in front of a group
- Improve reading and writing skills
- Socialize with other students who are deaf and hard of hearing (current CID students and graduates)
- Increase self-esteem and sense of belonging
- Foster creativity and self-expression
- Build stronger relationships with CID
Whether the children are solving a mystery, writing articles for a magazine, competing in a baking competition or goofing around on the playground, they are cherishing time with each other. CID’s summer enrichment program provides a place for children with hearing loss to swap stories and challenges they face in the mainstream, connecting new friends and reconnecting old friends.
If you would like more information about CID’s summer enrichment program, please contact Andrea Osman at 314-977-0135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.