Language Center at Nave expands summer programs to meet community needs

Published 9:18 am Monday, July 29, 2019

JOHNSON CITY — During a typical summer, East Tennessee State University’s Language Center at Nave is bustling with camps and programming for children. This summer, the camps and activities have moved to ETSU’s main campus while the Nave Center, located in Elizabethton, undergoes renovations.

“Our temporary location on ETSU’s main campus has not slowed down our programs,” said Dr. Teresa Boggs, director of clinical services for speech-language pathology. “In fact, we are offering some programs for the first time this summer. Our programs evolve based on the needs of our families.”

The Language Center at Nave is part of the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Science’s (CCRHS) Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. The center provides comprehensive language and feeding therapies to increase communication skills and improve eating and nutrition.

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During the summer, the center offers a full slate of camps, featuring fun activities with CCRHS faculty and graduate students.

While the camps usually cater to preschool and elementary-age children with special needs, this year the center offered a week-long camp for teenagers with autism. The activities throughout the week focused on community engagement and social skills and included planning community events, exploring areas of interest on the ETSU campus, visiting the Farmers Market, ordering and paying for lunch, and journaling the days’ activities.   

“Being on ETSU’s campus gave us additional opportunities to work with teens on some of these important skills,” Boggs said.

It was also the first year for the Positive Eating Program (PEP) Camp for children ages 3-6 who have sensory and behavioral-based eating difficulties. Activities such as gardening, messy sensory play, food preparation, and sampling new textures and types of food were highlights of this program.

The Preschool Language Camp, which meets once a week, is a literacy-based camp that helps children work on building vocabulary, speech and language skills through play, music and art. The children engaged in a camping theme and learned about animals, nature and the environment.

In addition, a week-long camp for hearing-impaired children ages 3-10 included art, drama and problem-solving activities aimed at helping children learn speech and language skills by improving auditory and listening skills.  Leaders encouraged children to use their imagination as they explored various countries.

Programming will return to the Nave Center when construction is completed in mid-August.

To learn more about the Language Center at Nave, call 423-439-4355.