Ryder Jones is one of many kids attending the language camp at the West Tennessee Hearing and Speech Center.
The camp provides an inclusive environment for children with speech and articulation impairment and other disabilities advance their speech and their hearing with different activities throughout the week.
The different activities aim to boost the camper’s language skills, so when they go back to speech therapy, they’re one step ahead.
“We see children with various disabilities, we see children that are on the autism spectrum, diagnosed with down syndrome, and those with other various disabilities who may not have opportunities to go to other camps, so we provide a good opportunity for children with disabilities,” said Rachel Leach, speech pathology assistant.
The camp is nonprofit, free to attend and run by volunteers. And it’s as rewarding for the volunteers as it is for the kids.
“This has made me find my passion, wanting to work with these kids and its exciting to see their progress just in four days going from being a little shy to actually being excited to be here and wanting to come and not wanting to leave,” said Jordan Reynolds, a volunteer with the language camp.
Leach says the kid’s improvements through the duration of the camp is notable.
“Some of them are my speech therapy students who get to say their letters, and this week really boosts their speech. It’s amazing.”
Next week, language camp will be held for children ages 7 to 9.