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Getting Down to Business: Sound Beginnings Program Reunites for Summer Fun

 

The Sound Beginnings program at USU, part of the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department, recently hosted its annual summer camp on the Logan campus. The three-day camp, now in its ninth year, is an opportunity for hearing-impaired children and their parents to socialize, attend workshops, and, most of all, have fun.

Over the three days, the children were given opportunities to develop their language skills through various activities and games. While they learned and played, parents participated in seminars. At the end of camp, the kids got to show their parents the results of a special project—commercials for local companies, created entirely by the children.

While many of the activities resemble those of a typical summer camp, the attendees view it as much more. Jeanie Jones, whose son is one of only a few children in his school with a hearing impairment, struggled to hold back tears while describing why she brought him to the camp.

“He loves to come play with his CI friends,” Jones said, referring to a cochlear implant that many of the children have to help with their hearing. “He doesn’t get picked on at home or anything, but this is a place where he can feel comfortable. He loves coming to this camp because he doesn’t feel like he’s weird or different.” 

The significance of the camp for both parents and children is something Nicole Martin, the director of Sound Beginnings, is proud of. “This camp is a wonderful opportunity for these parents to learn from each other and gain a better understanding of how to best help their children,” Martin said. “The children get to have a fun time with the activities and other things they do, too, while also learning important language skills.”