Funding will augment the newly created Community Outreach Fund
WASHINGTON, DC / ACCESSWIRE / November 16, 2023 / The Potomac River Clinic (PRC) and The River School (River) were awarded an $80,000 grant from the Robert I. Schattner Foundation to supplement the current Community Outreach Fund established earlier this year, following the initial support from the Green Family Foundation. Created to support children with hearing loss from underserved communities in Washington, D.C., the Fund provides services beginning at diagnosis and continuing through rehabilitation while optimizing their development of language, literacy, academic and social skills. With the Community Outreach Fund, these children have the same access to state-of-the-art technologies, services and programs that have helped other children with hearing loss overcome the developmental effects of early hearing loss and succeed socially and academically.
In its first year, the Community Outreach Fund will be used to:
- Purchase portable audiological screening equipment and speech and language screening kits to provide community-based screenings.
- Provide speech and language and audiology screenings, and follow-up for approximately 125 students in Pre-K3, Pre-K4, and Kindergarten at an elementary school in Southeast Washington D.C., serving marginalized students.
- Conduct newborn Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing: PRC's specially trained pediatric audiologists will conduct unsedated ABRs for infants who did not pass their newborn hearing screening within two weeks of their referral.
- Provide ILEAD Program Support: At no cost, up to 30 students (maximum capacity) will be able to attend the Intensive Literacy Enrichment Activities for Diverse Populations (ILEAD), a summer program designed to meet the needs of children with hearing loss from diverse and socioeconomically marginalized backgrounds. Transportation, meals, and extended care subsidies for the attendees will also be provided, in addition to coaching and training for the parents of the attendees - with interpreters, if needed.
- Provide Parent Infant Program Support: Conduct a weekly playgroup for infants and toddlers with hearing loss and their guardians, at no cost, facilitated by a speech-language pathologist, early childhood educator, audiologist and psychologist.
- Provide follow-up services for newly identified patients: Screen and identify new patients, and provide critical ongoing services to patients and their families through PRC to ensure the best possible outcomes. Provide a transportation allowance, as needed, for 10 patients to ensure they can get to PRC for weekly appointments.
- Provide auditory-verbal therapy and parent-child interaction therapy for 10 patients and 10 families respectively, through PRC.
- Provide Hearing Aids, Durable Medical Equipment and Audiological Support: PRC will provide up to 10 sets of hearing aids to new patients identified during the screening program who do not have insurance coverage, as well as additional Durable Medical Equipment (DME) including batteries, cords, cables, wax guards, and ear hooks.
"River and PRC are both non-profit organizations with missions to support children with hearing loss. We share a location and several key staff which makes our relationship unique," said Nancy K. Mellon, Founder and Head of The River School, and Executive Director of the Potomac River Clinic. "With this generous grant from Schattner Foundation to expand the Community Outreach Fund, we are able to reduce overhead costs for both organizations and are able to reach beyond our current client base to provide state-of-the-art services to many more children in our region. No other agency in this region provides children with hearing loss with the same services, expertise and support under one umbrella."
Since its launch in the spring, the Community Outreach Fund has conducted hearing and speech screenings and ensured follow-up services for nearly 125 Pre-K and Kindergarten students and provided 12 Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) tests for infants, an hours-long process, with an average wait time of only 10 days. Historically, Potomac River Clinic would only be able to conduct three ABRs per year, and the typical wait time for ABR tests in the D.C. region is six-eight months. Through the Community Outreach Fund, River and PRC will continue to expand its outreach and provide much-needed services to children with hearing loss in areas of the city who have traditionally had limited access to diagnostic and rehabilitative services.
About The River School
Founded in 1999, The River School (River) established the first fully inclusive educational program for children with hearing loss in the United States. Educating young children from 18 months through Grade 6, River provides full immersion of children with hearing loss with their typically developing peers in a unique co-teaching model that pairs a master's level educator and a speech-language pathologist in every classroom. With an emphasis on experiential and collaborative learning, the curriculum integrates literacy, math, science, drama, music, visual arts, physical education and yoga into a robust, child-centered program, adding world languages in Upper Elementary. The River School challenges each child to work collaboratively, to think critically, and to develop the confidence to take risks, embrace their curiosity, and find their voice. More information can be found at riverschool.net
About Potomac River Clinic
Potomac River Clinic (formerly known as Chattering Children) is a non-profit organization co-located in The River School, which serves the greater Washington, D.C. area. Potomac River Clinic provides children with hearing loss and their families a range of services, including auditory-verbal therapy, hearing aid and cochlear implant programming, psycho-educational assessments, educational support, speech-language therapy and other services. Through partnerships in research, professional training, and collaborative outreach programs, Potomac River Clinic promotes best practices in language learning for children with hearing loss. More information can be found at potomacriverclinic.org.
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SOURCE: The River School