The Loyola Clinical Centers (LCC) and the Loyola University Maryland speech-language pathology/audiology department have been awarded a $35,000 grant from the Horizon Foundation to continue “Expanding Horizons: Broadway Kids.” The collaborative program combines drama instruction and speech-language therapy to improve social communication skills in children with special needs.
Funding from the Columbia, Md.-based non-profit’s Community Health Issues Program (CHIP) grant will support the third year of a partnership between the LCC and the Columbia Center for the Theatrical Arts (CCTA), who collaborate to run the unique program. The Horizon Foundation chose “Expanding Horizons: Broadway Kids” for its CHIP grant because the program responds to the health and wellness needs of the Howard County, Md., community. The program affords children with social communication difficulties due to Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities the opportunity to work with Loyola speech-language pathology master’s students to advance their therapy goals while rehearsing for a musical theater performance with guidance from CCTA’s professional staff.
“These are kids who are often told what they can’t do rather than what they can do,” said Janet Simon Schreck, M.S. CCC-SLP, executive director of the LCC. “With the generosity of the Horizon Foundation, we can continue working with CCTA to give children with social communication difficulties an opportunity to improve their social communication skills and celebrate strength.”
Loyola was awarded close to $18,000 from the Horizon Foundation last year to fund the portion of “Expanding Horizons: Broadway Kids” run at the LCC, but received separate funding for a pilot initiative to offer the program at Wilde Lake High School in Howard County, Md. By nearly doubling its investment this year, the Horizon Foundation is covering the resources necessary to support the program both at the LCC and another public school in Howard County.
Throughout the upcoming year, the LCC will collect data on the effectiveness of the program to present at a national conference so that other speech-language pathologists and educators can learn about the structure and successes of the innovative program.
For more information or questions regarding this story, contact Media Relations Manager Nick Alexopulos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-617-5025.