'Camp Success' Receives Check From Waco Scottish Rite

News Photo 1455
Claude Ervin, Waco Scottish Rite Bodies chairman, presents a check for $29,240 to Michaela Ritter, Camp Success coordinator, during a ceremony July 18.
July 28, 2003

by Amanda Lewis, Student Newswriter

Waco Scottish Rite Bodies presented a check for $29,240 to Baylor University's Communication Disorders Clinic to benefit "Camp Success," a summer camp that helps Central Texas children overcome language and literacy problems. Claude Ervin, Waco Scottish Rite Bodies chairman, presented the check to Michaela Ritter, Camp Success coordinator, during a ceremony July 18.

Camp Success provides individual and small group attention to enhance children's pre-literacy skills to better prepare them for school. Twenty-three children, under the guidance of 18 graduate clinicians, are being served by Camp Success, which began July 7 at the Baylor clinic. Through the program, children can achieve as much progress in four weeks as a typical student would progress in one year.

"Something good has been happening here since July 7, and we hope we set the stage for it to continue to happen," Ervin said. The funds for Camp success were raised through a golf tournament hosted by Waco Scottish Rite. Ervin said the organization plans to make a monetary contribution to the program again next year.

During the ceremony, Camp Success facilitators, graduate clinicians and parents gave testimonies to the benefits of the program.

Approximately 20 percent of children enter public school classrooms with "specific language impairments" and will struggle considerably when they start to learn to read. Dyslexia is the most common reading disability in elementary school, affecting equally males and females, as well as children from different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. In Central Texas, more than 4,500 pre-kindergarten children are estimated to have significant language disabilities.

Waco Scottish Rite and Baylor's Communication Disorders Clinic in the department of communication sciences and disorders both have a long history of helping children with language disorders and dyslexia. Today, there are 163 Scottish Rite clinics, centers and special programs for children and therapists located throughout the United States, while Baylor has graduated more than 1,200 speech-language pathologists since the department began in 1976. In turn, Baylor students have provided thousands of Central Texas children with treatment of their speech, language and hearing disorders at little or no cost to their parents.

For more information, contact Dr. David Rivers, professor of communication sciences and disorders, at 710-6370 or Ritter at 710-4745.

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