Science program improves speech in young children
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CHARLOTTE – You may not think science has much in common with speech and social skills but a program at Charlotte's Speech Garden Institute combines all three to encourage learning and confidence in children.
"When he comes out of here, I'm seeing a really energized kid. He's excited, he's learned something pretty cool and he's broken down his barriers and he's confident to talk," said Jennifer Youakim, whose 4-year-old son, Joseph, is in the program.
The best part about classes at the Speech Garden Institute, parents say, is that children don't even realize they're learning.
"They have a model that makes it fun. Fun is fun and you don't know you're learning if it's fun. It's just all good," said parent Michelle Wall.
And it comes in 5 simple steps.
“Allow children to interact with each other, formulate hypothsis and test them and to experiment with language development and use it in the classroom setting while having fun," explained speech language pathologist Ellen Holloway, the founder and executive director of Speech Garden Institute.
The program at Coveneant Presbyterian Church partners with Discovery Place and is funded in part by an Arts and Science Council grant. Holloway says some of the children have a developmental delay and others don't, but no matter their abilities, everyone benefits.
"When they do science experimentation, they don't even realize the language skills involved in the scientific process," she said.