MISSOULA – This week’s One Class at a Time grant winner is Kelly Sandford who is a Speech Language Pathologist at Meadow Hill Middle School in Missoula.
There are many team players in schools -- teachers, aides, janitors - and some also have a Speech Language Pathologist who helps students learn how to communicate in their own way.
“I think I want all of the kids to feel comfortable and feel like they’re respected, and they can be who they are,” Sandford said. “After leaving a treatment session with me, and just feeling comfortable with who they are and whatever they’re communicating or whatever’s happening in their world. I’m joining them.”
Sandford has been joining students in their world for about two years. She is very busy in her role, holding daily sessions with anywhere between 10 and 16 students.
“I think want to get a little bit of language-specific games, there’s some games that are geared towards middle school that will help get some language out and vocabulary and then there’s some games that might be more geared towards a different population of play-based therapy I could use, like tea sets or there might be some marble towers that will help get them talking with their communication.” - Meadow Hill Middle School Speech Language Pathologist Kelly Sandford
Kelly Sandford plans to use her $250 grant to buy games to keep her students engaged in their sessions and make the learning enjoyable. The grant will also take some of the burdens off her shoulders, as she has to plan lessons non-stop.
“Getting them to communicate clearly with me. It might be requesting something, or it might be using specific vocabulary, but just kinda getting them to communicate in whatever goal areas they have,” Sandford concluded.
Even though her day is stacked trying to help students reach their goals, Sandford’s ultimate goal is to reach every student, one-by-one.