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May 7, 2013

Clarke's Summer Programs Featured in The Springfield Republican

May 7, 2013—(Published as "Clarke Schools Offer Summer Adventures," The Springfield Republican) "This summer program is unlike any other program for children and teens with hearing loss in the country because of the people involved - both in terms of their expertise and the time and endless energy they devote to the students and families. Kids come here for two weeks and go home realizing that they are part of something extremely special," says Ashley Kachelmeyer, coordinator of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech Summer Adventure program.

Clarke's Summer Adventure is a two-week program for older children with hearing loss who utilize hearing technology (such as hearing aids or cochlear implants) and communicate using listening and spoken language.

The program is staffed by teachers of the deaf and peer role models and offers an array of exciting activities and field trips for children between the ages of 9 and 14. This year's program will take place July 14 through 26 on the campus of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton.

"The theme of our program this year is 'The Clarke World Tour,'" says Kachelmeyer. "Our goal is to gain a greater understanding of the world we live in through fun and engaging activities."

Students will participate in international-themed scavenger hunts and outdoor hikes, take African dance lessons, and enjoy a sampling of foods from around the globe.

"We are also planning some activities related to researching childhood deafness in different countries," says Kachelmeyer. "I think it will be an eye-opening experience for our participants and foster some great discussions."

For over 30 years, Summer Adventure has provided the opportunity for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to connect with peers from all over the country.

"In recent years, we have had children come from New York, Virginia, Colorado, Texas, and even Bermuda!" says Martha deHahn, Clarke's director of program information. "Parents value that the program is operated by teachers who really understand these children. And kids love meeting peers who are just like them!"

In August, Clarke will host Explore the Outdoors, a special summer program for teens. "There was a demand from our families for a program for older teens who are in mainstream schools. We're excited to be offering this program for the second year in a row," says deHahn.

During the four-day program, teens in grades 9 through 12 will explore nature through camping, hiking, swimming and zip-lining at the Daughters of the American Revolution Campground in Goshen.

"Having people who understand surrounding me is a great experience!" said a 2012 attendee.

This year's summer program will take place from Aug. 4- to 7 and is coordinated by Kaitlyn Millen, a teacher of the deaf at Clarke. She will be joined by other teachers of the deaf and peer role models.

Read the full article online at