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Jenks Student wins United Nations Award - Page 3 GFS student helps build a school in Nicaragua - Page 4

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The importance of back-to-school hearing, vision and speech-language screenings


s the summer comes to an end and the school year quickly approaches, parents are checking off last minute necessities on their child's back-to-school list. But, many parents may overlook some of the most important tools for their child to succeed – their ears, eyes and language ability. Hearing Screenings Research shows that one in 300 children in the United States are born with permanent hearing loss, and by the time children reach

school age, it’s more like 12 out of 300, according the American Medical Association. Any type of hearing loss, permanent or temporary, can also affect a child’s speech, language, and social development in addition to the ability to learn. Make sure to have your child complete a routine hearing screening before they begin school this year. Even children who passed their hearing screening at birth may be at risk for developing hearing loss as they enter early childhood. Hearing screenings are quick and

painless. At the time of the screening, the physical condition of the ears will also be inspected by the audiologist, and at the conclusion of the screening, the examiner will provide either a “pass” – indicating no further action is required for your child at this time – or a “referral” with further recommendations including either a rescreen in about two weeks, or a full evaluation if a hearing problem is suspected.

• Difficulty understanding in noisy situations • Struggling in school • Attention problems • Speech and language delays • Frequent ear infections • Diagnosis of other disorders, including learning disorders, speech articulation disorders, down syndrome or autism

Vision Screenings According to the American Signs of hearing loss in children Academy of Ophthalmology, children's eyes change rapidly, making include: vision screenings a crucial step in detecting and correcting eye issues at an early age. It is estimated that 80 percent of learning is visual. Taking simple precautions can help ensure children have healthy vision and are ready for the school year. According to Dr. Maria Parisi, associate dean of Clinical Affairs for The Eye Institute (TEI) of Salus University, “vision screenings are important for children mostly because kids don’t know what normal vision is. If a child is having vision trouble, they may not complain about it because they don't have anything to compare it to.” Dr. Parisi suggests children get screened once before kindergarten and if everything is normal, once every two years from then. If there is an issue suspected, the child should have a comprehensive eye exam. The most common issue found in young children is nearsightedness, difficulty seeing faraway objects. Dr. Parisi noted that this condition is rapidly increasing in the U.S. due to high use of electronic screens with the increase in technology. Other common conditions found in children include farsightedness (difficulty seeing close up) and lazy eye. Overlooking an eye issue in a child may lead to more serious complications in the future. Back to school vision screenings at a local eye doctor’s office can catch problems in early stages to prevent more serious damage down the road. Signs of vision issues in children include: • Squinting • Sitting close to the TV • Becoming distracted in school • Headaches • Loss of interest in reading Speech-Language Screenings Speech and language are crucial skills to children’s development. To screen for speech and language impairments, speech-language pathologists may use informal methods to benchmark children against standard communication developmental norms or a pub-

lished screener such as Preschool Language Scales-5 (PLS-5) Screening Test. The PLS-5 uses methods to sample a broad spectrum of speech and language skills for children ranging in age from birth through age 7 in five to 10 minutes. Both formal and informal measures help identify those children that may need further assessment and intervention, according to Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, the clinical director of the SpeechLanguage Institute of Salus University. “Early identification is key to preventing children from falling behind in their communication development,” he said. There are a variety of speech, language and cognitive disorders, and they all present various symptoms. Articulation disorders • Sound substitutions, distortions or omissions; difficulty producing specific individual sound(s) correctly in words, sentences or conversation • Difficulty with a pattern of sounds that occur in language Voice and resonance disorders • Difficulties with vocal pitch (frequency), volume (intensity) and/or quality (tone) • Hoarseness, harshness, breathiness, strained voice quality Fluency (stuttering) disorders • Speech disorders in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations, or stoppages and may include unusual facial and body movements • Rapid repetition of distorted speech sounds (cluttering) Receptive and expressive language (reading and writing) disorders • Difficulty with comprehension of spoken language (listening) or written language (reading) • Trouble communicating thoughts, feelings and experiences in both verbal (talking) and written (writing) form, across five parameters: • Phonology (rules for speech sounds in a language) • Semantics (meaning of words used in a language) • Syntax (order of words in a language) • Morphology (how words are formed in a language) • Pragmatics (use of language in social interactions) • Nonverbal aspects of language may include struggling with mak(Continued on page 5)

Thursday, August 31, 2017


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Jenks student wins United Nations award by Sue Ann Rybak


enks Academy of Arts and Sciences student Kammy Moore, who will be in eighth grade in September, recently won The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia’s 2017 Jr. United Nations Award for her paper on climate change. The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to informing and engaging people of all ages on matters of national and international significance. Earlier this year, Moore and several other Jenks students participated in the Junior Model United Nations Student Diplomat Program, a five-month program that introduces middle school students to the world of international relations and cultural diplomacy. The program requires that participants research the political, cultural, economic and historical profile of a country, as well as a global issue. Through small-group instruction, mentors provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to confidently participate in the council's annual, Jenks Academy of the Arts and Sciences student Kammy Moore, who will be in region-wide Jr. Model United 8th grade in September, holds her 2017 Jr. United Nations Award from The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. (Photo by Amy Lydon.) Nations Conference. “Every group was assigned a different topic in a foreign country,” she said. “My topic was Japan and climate change.” The Mt. Airy resident initially began the project with a few other students, but she was the only one in her group who finished writing the paper. She said it was important for today's youth to be informed and educated about issues that affect people around the world. “We are the future,” she said. Moore, a member of Jenks Student Council, said it is important for kids to learn about the United Nations and global issues like climate change and human rights. She said the program empowered her and made her realize even students can make a difference. So, what can students do to prevent climate change? “Invest in eco-friendly technology and spend more time in nature,” she said. “Put down your cell phone and explore the world around you.” Moore enjoyed meeting new people from all over the city and visiting The University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. While she isn't sure what she wants to study in the future, she is involved and passionate about learning new things. Kammy's mother, Amy Lydon, is proud of how hard Moore works in school. “I'm so impressed that she really understands the importance of being well-rounded and planning for the future,” she said. “She consistently pushes herself to try new things and takes them all very seriously. It is really inspiring to me to see how talented and focused she is!” Moore, is also very involved in Jenks’ extracurricular activities, including basketball, volleyball, theater, choir and student council. She understands and embodies the World Affairs Council's maxim: “In a democracy, agreement is not essential; participation is.”

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

GFS student helps build a school in Nicaragua

Germantown Friends student Chloe Frank puts her hand print on a brick outside of one of the school's exterior walls. (Photo courtesy of Germantown Friends.)



ver the past school year, Chloe Smith-Frank ’19 did a huge amount of work to raise money to support the construction of a school in Nicaragua through the organization BuildOn. She raised more than $13,000 towards the school, and in June, Smith-Frank and Germantown Friends School (GFS) Spanish teacher Rachel Bradburd trekked to Nicaragua for a week to help begin building the school in the community of El Chamarro, along with students from four other U.S. schools. Smith-Frank and Bradburd spent a week providing non-skilled labor support, doing cultural activities, and getting to know the community. Each member of their 10-person team (two teacher chaperones and eight students from five different schools with eight men and eight women from the community; the community must agree to staff nonskilled laborers on the build, and every member must sign an agreement that they support the building of the school. Since Smith-Frank, Bradburd, and the other school teams stayed with host families, many members of the group got to know school-

aged children who will attend the school as soon as it is completed. Students got to place a brick on one of the exterior walls on their last day, putting a hand print on the outside, so they could literally leave their mark on the school. The school teams worked with four or five skilled laborers (engineers, etc.) as well as with eight men and eight women from the community. Smith-Frank and Bradburd also got to visit the children at their current school one day, and taught them some basic English phrases as well as the song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” The community currently has two small school buildings, but there are more school-aged children than can fit the space. So many children have to learn outside under the hot sun or in the rain. The local government agrees to staff schools with teachers based on the space they have, so by adding two more rooms, they are also guaranteed two more teachers. “It was a pretty incredible journey, and I was so inspired and awestruck seeing Chloe lay a brick on the site of the school she worked so hard to raise money to build,” said Bradburd.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017


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The importance of back-to-school hearing, vision and speech-language screenings (Continued from page 2)

ing or interpreting facial expressions, body language, tones of voice and situation use or rules of communication

place, time and situation) • Insight/Judgement • Executive Functioning (planning/sequencing, self-monitoring skills) Social communication disorders affecting one’s ability to use and interpret language in social situations • Disorders affecting the ability to use and interpret language in social context

Cognitive disorders affecting memory, attention, reasoning, problem solving, orientation, judgement, or executive functioning • Attention • Memory (short-term or working memory and Salus University Health operates long-term memory) three clinical facilities that provide • Reasoning highly specialized vision, hearing, • Problem Solving balance, and communication and • Orientation (person,

At Germantown Academy, one-of-a-kind opportunities await students of all ages


ermantown Academy is a place unlike any other. Our location in nearby Fort Washington includes incredible 21st century classrooms, natural woods and wetlands, the Wissahickon Creek, and extensive athletic facilities. Every square foot of GA’s buzzing campus is home to a learning space, program, natural setting, or asset rarely found anywhere else that advances the school’s mission of inspiring students to be independent in thought, confident in expression, compassionate in spirit, collaborative in action, and honorable in deed. For 258 years, GA’s philosophy has balanced innovative initiatives with traditional forms of instruction. Our approach to learning yields inquisitive students, selfassured individuals, and educated citizens poised to enter the world in which they live. Here is a look into just a few of those unique aspects of the GA experience: Innovation and Special Programs GA understands that successful individuals must be skilled communicators, strong collaborators, and confident problem-solvers. Varied learning environments and leading-edge programs, including programs like Art Across the Academy, Kids Teaching Kids, Garden to Table, SAP Early Innovators, and Computer-Aided Design, provide a framework for our students to build, grow, and engage in real world projects.

Beard Center for Innovation (BCI) and Roberts Family Library The BCI combines technology, space, and opportunities for collaboration into a learning experience that yields greater engagement and deeper understanding for PreK-12 students. It contains an innovation lab for idea development and a state-of-the-art makerspace fully stocked with prototyping materials and manufacturing technologies. Students have access to 3-D printers, CAD software, a laser cutter, robotic components and prototyping materials. THE BCI then opens up to the Roberts Family Library, enabling students to move from idea generation and collaboration to making, then to an area for thoughtful reflection, and then right into an area for traditional modes of academic work and research, all in one continuous space. Nature Program GA students from PreK-12 are immersed in hands-on experiences throughout our 126-acre campus that help them connect with


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nature, understand environmental challenges, and contribute to solutions. GA’s campus features a number of “outdoor laboratories,” including the Wissahickon Creek, Academic Courtyard, a certified Audubon Society Bird Habitat, green roof, apiary, waterways, wet meadows, woods, and organic gardens. To learn more about GA, go to

swallowing services. To schedule a hearing screening, contact The Pennsylvania Ear Institute at (215) 780-3180. For vision screenings, contact The Eye Institute at (215) 276 -6111. To schedule a speech-language screening, call The Speech-Language Institute at (215) 780-3150.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Change the world through SCH’s extraordinar y education t Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, located in Chestnut Hill, we offer a unique educational model that empowers its younger students with a single-sex education in Pre-K through 8th and a coed experience in Upper School that includes over 100 electives and 15 varsity sports. Students learn in a community that inspires unbounded curiosity, independent thought, and a passion to effect positive change.

known and enjoys easy access to support during the college preparation process. Our college counselors help to demystify the decision making behind college admissions and clarify the critical factors that colleges and universities consider when selecting a class. Most importantly, they help students focus in on what they want from their college experience and help them identify which institutions offer the best fit for their interests and goals.

Enjoying a Unique Campus Setting SCH Academy’s 62-acre city campus, situated in the city and on the edge of the Wissahickon Valley, offers easy access to the cultural resources of Philadelphia and the natural wonders of our neighboring 1,800-acre park. Day trips to Fort Mifflin and area museums, trail walks, and science studies along Wissahickon Creek are all part of the stimulating variety of environments – urban and sylvan – that await an SCH Academy student.

Learning Outside the Classroom From testing the water quality of Wissahickon Creek to searching for owls to journal writing in the woods, SCH students are regularly outside and view the Wissahickon Valley as their outdoor classroom. When they’re older, they venture further afield, on overnight camping trips to the Chesapeake Bay and the Poconos and on a five-day, Outward Bound experience at the beginning of 9th grade.


At SCH, students adopt a “can-do” attitude and build friendships that last a lifetime. (Photo courtesy of SCH.)

violins, cellos, violas and bows sales, rentals, restorations and repairs lessons

Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset At SCH, students practice the mindset of the entrepreneur – “cando” attitude that’s creative, collaborative, resourceful, and resilient. Our students develop these skills in and out of the classroom through our Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), curriculum, which teaches essential skills that prepare our students for their future, from coding and digital publishing to creative problem solving, presentation, and project management. Preparing for College The exceptional college counselor-to-student ratio at SCH ensures that each student is well

Learning the Skills of Global Citizenship Through their Upper School global travel experiences, SCH students learn to interact compassionately, ethically, and successfully with people from different cultures and to think critically about their roles as global citizens in an increasingly interconnected world. Since 2010, SCH has take over 700 students on trips to 16 countries. Trips are focused in three areas: language and cultural immersion and exchanges, meaningful service-learning experiences, and field research and experiential study. (Continued on page 7)

Thursday, August 31, 2017


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New season begins at Wissahickon Dance Academy


issahickon Dance Academy (WDA) announces the start of their fall season with a full range of dance classes geared for both the casual dancer and the dancer on track for a professional career. Classes begin Saturday, September 9. Registration takes place at the studio on September 7 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Families can also register online by going to the WDA website,, and clicking on the registration tab. Registration is ongoing throughout the year. WDA offers classes in pre-ballet, ballet, pointe, classical variations, partnering, jazz, tap, hip hop, modern and yoga. The ages span from 3 years through pre-professional and adult level classes. Each year the studio presents a story ballet as part of the annual recital. This past year’s ballet was “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Nutcracker auditions will take place at the WDA studio on September 24 for ballet students ages 5 – 22 to perform with the Donetsk Ballet. The company will return for their annual production partnering with WDA’s non-profit arm, International Ballet Exchange (IBE). The auditions are open to all students of ballet regardless of where they study.

Discover the world (Continued from page 6)

Imagining, Designing, and Building From their earliest years at SCH Academy, students learn to become creative designers and problem solvers through a schoolwide engineering and robotics curriculum that is one of the most comprehensive in the country. Students have an opportunity to participate in the popular FIRST Robotics Program, which sponsors fun competitive events that celebrate students’ design, problemsolving, and teamwork skills. Learning to Communicate through New Media Through our new media program, students can avail themselves of the latest technologies in video and music production, creative coding, design and fabrication, 3D design, interactive design, architecture, photography, and animation. SCH new media graduates have been accepted into major film, new media, music composition, and broadcasting schools and regularly win awards at area filmmaking competitions. For more Information, go to SCH.ORG.

WDA’s faculty of professional dancers of the highest caliber include: Ballet Mistress, Elena Tiuriakulova who graduated with honors from the Vaganova Choreography Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia and was former principal dancer from Kyrgyz Opera and Ballet Theater in her native country of Kyrgyzstan will teach ballet, pointe variations and yoga; Yosbel DelgadoHernandez who danced with the Cuban National Ballet, and danced for eight years with PA Ballet performing many solo roles will teach ballet and partnering; Cara King, who formerly ran the dance program at Settlement Music School, will teach beginner ballet, pre-ballet and adult ballet; Artistic Director and founder of WDA, Nancy Malmed, who danced professionally with Contemporary Dance Theater, will teach ballet and pointe. The studio is located at 38 E. School House Lane, Philadelphia PA, 19144, one block from Germantown Friends School and Greene Street Friends. For more information call 215849-7950 or visit For more information on Nutcracker auditions, visit www.interna- Cynthia Jickling as Titania and Jackiel Irwin-Diehl as Bottom in Wissahickon Dance Academy’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (Photo by Julieanne Harris)

Wissahickon Skating Club 550 W. Willow Grove Ave., Chestnut Hill

ENROLLING NOW! NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED! • Learn to Skate Classes – Friday evening and Saturday morning • Learn to Play Hockey – Sunday afternoon • Public Skating Sessions – Friday evening and Saturday afternoon For more information about our classes or becoming a member, please visit our website at

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Our Mother of Consolation students thank the Owen J. Roberts School District for their gift of 13 smartboards. (Photo courtesy of OMC.)

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