Six Master’s students engaged in telepractice with children to maximize learning to read amidst COVID restrictions
“Grade one is a critical time in a child’s development. While learning to read, which mostly happens in first grade, may seem fun and effortless for some children, “it can be a great challenge for others” says Sophie Vaillancourt, assistant professor (professional) in McGill’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences’ School of Communication Sciences and Disorders (SCSD).
So when COVID-19 forced thousands of school-age kids to stay at home, young children lost valuable learning time at a crucial moment in their lives.
Simultaneously, many speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) in schools, clinics, rehab centres and hospitals, whose work is normally to help adults and children with learning difficulties, were being re-assigned to test for COVID, or to care for the elderly in long-term-care facilities, or were just unable to see their clients safely. This led to significant reductions in clinical opportunities for the speech-language pathology students.
Amidst these challenging times, a collaboration between Kahnàwa:ke Education Center’s Kateri Elementary School and the SCSD was established, to support children who could benefit from additional intervention in reading, while at the same time opening up some clinical opportunities for SCSD students.”
* This article from the McGill Reporter features SAC members Alexandra Lauzon, S-LP(C) and Claudia Hogan S-LP(C), as well as SAC student associate Bianca Mercadante.