Baylor Camp Success Ceremony To Celebrate...Success!

July 1, 2009

Since 2003, more than 500 children have been impacted by innovative, intensive language and literacy program

Baylor University's Camp Success, a free intensive literacy and language program for children diagnosed with language and reading disorders, will celebrate the remarkable progress of 80 students at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, July 2, at the Lee Lockwood Texas Scottish Rite Library and Museum, 2801 W Waco Dr.

This year's ceremony will bring the total number of children who have made significant improvement in their language and reading skills after Camp Success to more than 500 students.

The successful program is free to parents, thanks to the generous support of Waco Scottish Rite, which has contributed approximately $500,000 to Camp Success since its beginning in 2003. The camp has grown from 24 students in 2003 to 80 participants this year, with 200 more on the waiting list.

Approximately 20 to 30 percent of children entering public school each year have difficulty learning to read. In Central Texas, 4,500 children begin school each year with language impairments that will affect their ability 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.

Baylor's Camp Success is a four-week program of intensive literacy and language therapy sessions for children ages five to 18. Baylor faculty and graduate students, who work one-on-one with Camp Success students, have found that a majority of the participants achieve - in only four weeks - an unprecedented one-to-four-year jump in reading ability.

"It's intensive. There's nothing like it, and it's free to the parents," said Dr. Michaela Ritter, associate chair of the department of communication sciences and disorders at Baylor and director of Camp Success. "It would cost parents $7,500 to $10,000 for a language and literacy program any place else."

Waco Scottish Rite and Baylor's Language and Literacy Clinic in the department of communication sciences and disorders both have a long history of helping children with language disorders and dyslexia.

Baylor has graduated more than 1,200 speech-language pathologists, who provide treatments to more than 60,000 speech, language and hearing disabled children and adults every week in the United States. On the local level, the department's clinic provides more than 10,000 hours of community service each year to disabled children, the elderly and all ages in between.

In addition to Camp Success, Scottish Rite also has supported language and literacy programs during the school year, which have impacted more than 1,000 children in Central Texas.

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