Third Annual Book Drive to Support BHSM Propelled by the momentum built from the successes of the past, the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in Baltimore, Md., is sponsoring its third annual book drive to commemorate Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). The drive, which began as a brainstorm of a group of Kennedy Krieger speech-language pathologists three ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   April 01, 2010
Third Annual Book Drive to Support BHSM
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School-Based Settings / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   April 01, 2010
Third Annual Book Drive to Support BHSM
The ASHA Leader, April 2010, Vol. 15, 24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.15052010.24
The ASHA Leader, April 2010, Vol. 15, 24. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.15052010.24
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  • Speech-language pathologists at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore are eager to collect books for their Better Hearing and Speech Month book drive. The SLPs shown are (back row, from left) Mary Chestnutt, Dana Scalza, and Kristy Chao; (middle row, from left) Gina Sagrilla, Melissa Kravulski, and Janet Turner; and (front row) Ali Moskowitz. Children helping the SLPs include (from left) Thomas Tumminello, Stephanie Stevens, and Thaddeus Garrett.

Propelled by the momentum built from the successes of the past, the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) in Baltimore, Md., is sponsoring its third annual book drive to commemorate Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). The drive, which began as a brainstorm of a group of Kennedy Krieger speech-language pathologists three years ago, has evolved into a growing community outreach project to benefit children and schools in Baltimore.
“There is real emphasis on reading in the nation, and in Baltimore City schools there is particular concern about inner-city children who may not have the same resources other kids do,” said Janet Turner, director of Kennedy Krieger’s Speech-Language and Assistive Technology Department. “We serve people from all states and other countries, but this need is visible in our community. We meet kids with weak language and literacy skills through our programs, and this is an area where we thought we could have an impact.”
The institute will collect books at 10 drop-off points and will promote the drive to its patients and community through flyers. In 2008 KKI collected more than 1,400 books, which were donated to a Head Start program in East Baltimore and the Kennedy Krieger Special Education High School Library. In 2009, the more than 3,700 books collected were donated to Gilmor Elementary School, which had recently hired a librarian but didn’t have enough books to fill its library. This year’s recipients are the KKI Therapeutic Foster Care program and Furman Templeton Elementary School.
“We survey our staff to determine where the need is the greatest,” explained Andrea Sharar, senior SLP at Kennedy Krieger. “We wanted to give the books to children who might not otherwise have access to a book and also give to organizations that would help children use the books.”
The reaction from the recipient schools and programs from the past two years has been tremendous, Sharar said. She recalled the students’ excitement when the book drive organizers pulled up and unloaded a truck full of books last May.
“There was a boy hanging out a window watching us and he said, ’All those books are for us?’ And then all the kids came to the windows and cheered us on,” Sharar said.
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April 2010
Volume 15, Issue 5