University Hosts Its First Literacy Camp
Six youngsters and their parents were on the Radford University campus for two weeks in June for the inaugural Language and Literacy Skills Camp.
A collaboration between the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the College of Education and Human Development, the camp focused on enhancing the spoken and written communication of young children.
“For children with educational difficulties, we wanted them to improve their language and literacy skills, become more confident in their abilities and have more motivation for language and literacy activities,” said Elizabeth Lanter, camp coordinator and assistant professor of communication sciences. “As for the parents, we wanted them to learn more about their child's language and literacy skills, develop a deeper understanding of how different professions help their children and how they as parents can be a part of that development. We also want them to recognize the merits of Radford as having quality programs available to the community.”
Lanter and colleague B.J. Mullins, adjunct professor in the College of Education and Human Development, had help from graduate students in speech and language pathology and reading specialization.
Lanter said she had goals for not only the children and families but also for the pre-professional students. “This was a program at a university to prepare future professionals. We wanted the graduate students to embrace the idea of collaboration with colleagues in the professional workplace, working together to best serve the needs of children and families affected by educational difficulties,” she said.
“There are some real barriers in public education that make it hard for professionals to work together,” she said, citing large caseloads and limited time available for collaboration. “We wanted to promote a model of transdisciplinary education. This is best practice. For a teaching university, promoting this ideology is paramount for our students.”
The Language and Literacy Skills Camp was one of two programs offered on campus this summer for children with communication challenges. June’s Radford University Summer RiteCare Clinic, sponsored by the Scottish Rite Foundation, focused on challenges faced by children with language disorders due to autism.