Camp To Hold Awards Ceremony At Scottish Rite Building Aug. 6

Aug. 4, 2004

by Judy Long

Camp Success, Baylor University's Central Texas language and literacy summer camp, will hold an awards ceremony 10 a.m. Friday, August 6 at the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies building at 2801 W. Waco Drive. Baylor's Communication Disorders Clinic received $42,000 from the Waco Scottish Rite Bodies to operate the special needs camp, which ran from July 12 through August 6.

Camp Success provided individual and small-group attention to enhance children's pre-literacy skills to better prepare them for school. Fifty-three students, under the guidance of 26 graduate clinicians and six faculty, were served by Camp Success at the Baylor clinic this summer.

Waco Scottish Rite Bodies chairman Claude Ervin will present certificates of completion to the students, ages five to 17, in the camp. The certificates represent a significant accomplishment for the students. Dr. Michaela Ritter, assistant professor in the department of communication science and disorders, said each child received two and a half hours of language intervention and an hour of instruction from a reading specialist each day. Students achieved as much progress in four weeks as a typical student would progress in one year.

"Students and parents are so excited about the improvement the children have made over the past month. Some parents have reported their children are asking them to read books to them for the first time ever," Ritter said.

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 Ritter at 710-4745.

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