Latest News

Celebrating Read Across America

March 5, 2019—Clarke celebrated #ReadAcrossAmerica week in partnership with the National Education Association to emphasize the importance of literacy.[More]

Mandarin News and WJXT/Channel 4 Feature the Kilwins Ice Cream Run

March 1, 2019—The Kilwins Ice Cream Run, Saturday, March 30, is a fun-filled, family event featuring all-you-can-eat Kilwins Jacksonville Original Recipe Ice Cream at the finish line. Funds raised will support children who are deaf or hard of hearing, who are learning to listen...[More]

Parent Workshop in Northampton: Dangers of Social Media

February 26, 2019—Join us to gain knowledge to promote responsible use of digital tools while also obtaining the wisdom to prevent negative, irresponsible and malicious digital behaviors and trends. Richard Guerry is the author of multiple cyber safety books and has been a featured...[More]

Linking Friendship and Self-Determination

February 11, 2019—A new study co-authored by Brittany Dorn, MED, an itinerant teacher of the deaf and a Clarke Summer Camp advisor, finds that friendships and self-determination are two factors that positively influence success in school and adult life. [More]

 

Birch

When Birch was diagnosed with unilateral microtia/atresia (a malformed outer ear and closed ear canal, resulting in a severe conductive hearing loss) at birth, his parents joined a group made up of families with children who had a similar diagnosis. During the first picnic hosted by the group, one of the mothers told them about Clarke New York and the difference its Early Intervention Program was already making in their infant son’s life. Birch’s parents spoke to Meredith Berger, the director of Clarke New York, and felt welcomed into the Clarke family right away. From that very first phone call, they knew that Clarke was the right choice for Birch.

Now two-years-old, Birch is thriving. The once-shy infant now runs into his group and one-on-one sessions without looking back. He looks forward to his time with Sara, his speech language pathologist at Clarke New York, and greets her with a big smile and a huge hug. He also participates in two group sessions per week where he loves the hands-on activities like painting. Like most two year olds, he does a lot of observing, as he’s very interested in the other toddlers. He loves to play and isn’t afraid to speak up when he needs to be heard. Once he’s back at home, he can’t stop talking about all his friends at Clarke. When he begins Clarke’s preschool, Birch’s mom is looking forward to the support and specialized teaching he’ll receive. She knows that the staff will help build the extra confidence and skills he’ll need to succeed once he’s ready for mainstream schools.

It’s obvious that Birch is a special little boy who has benefitted, not only from the teachers’ caring interactions and expertise, but also from his parents’ hard work and dedication. He is making huge strides, and his mom is quite sure that, “without Sara and Clarke, Birch would not be where he is today.” On the days when they visit Clarke, it’s unclear who is more excited to see whom: Sara hearing Birch running down the hall calling out, “Where’s Sara? Where’s Sara?” or Birch, who has been talking about Sara the entire morning.

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