Wednesday, November 19, 2014

First Steps Adds Parent Library to "Jump Into Speech" Classes

Marj Hyde, Guest Blogger and First Steps Coordinator

Have you ever thought about how children develop language? Those early words and phrases are not only adorable to hear, but also critical for later school success. 

Last year First Steps-Ann Arbor, a division of Rec & Ed, teamed up with AAPS Speech and Language Pathologist Marie Stroud to create a new class called Jump Into Speech. The class is for any toddler, age 15 to 24 months, and their parent or caregiver. Each of the 7-week classes offers specific shared activities that encourage toddlers to use new words and increase their communication skills. Best of all, it's fun for toddlers and their parents!

The original class was so popular that Marie and her First Steps collaborator, Ann Stalhandske, added 2 more classes this year: Jump Into Speech for Two (22-30 months) and Jump Into Speech with Friends (28-38 months).

Why do parents like these classes?

"I know that I am more vocal with my daughter just acknowledging what she's doing and we sing more songs. It's fun and I saw definite results," said one parent of a 2 year old. 

"I'm more conscious of the types of questions I ask my son," another parent commented. "It was valuable to learn the hierarchy of processing questions. [Jump Into Speech for Two] helped me learn more about how to speak to him to initiate dialogue that is meaningful."

We know the Jump Into Speech classes empower parents to make a difference when helping their child learn to talk. 

We asked ourselves what would make Jump Into Speech even more helpful? 

Answer: a library of books for parents to use at home with even more fun activities to support speech! 

Thanks to a Great Ideas grant from the Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation, this library will become a reality. Beginning in January 2015, Jump Into Speech classes will include books to borrow filled with strategies that work at home to increase successful communication.

"We think having a special selection of books for parents will be great and we're so excited that AAPSEF is supporting this!" said both Marie and Ann. "Thank you so much!!"


Marie Stroud, Marj Hyde and Ann Stalhandske with their
grant award certificates.

Want to learn more about the Jump Into Speech classes or First Steps? Contact me (Marj Hyde) at 734-994-4949 or by email. You're also welcome to attend one of the upcoming First Steps orientations

We welcome all Ann Arbor families!


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