Every Little Blessing Preschool and UTEP Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) are collaborating for the Spring 2023 term. The community partnership sees 10 UTEP SLP students assigned to an extra specialty rotation at Every Little Blessing Preschool for an expanded professional schedule and real-world experience in the field.
The El Paso Special Needs Education Center/Every Little Blessing Preschool (ELB), an early intervention preschool for students with and without disabilities, is a 501c3 started in 2017. The only one of its kind in the region, ELB uses a curriculum that develops independence, social skills, academic skills, and provides opportunities for students to learn and grow together. The community partnership with UTEP Speech-Language Pathology students provides them the opportunity to engage and apply knowledge in a unique setting while gaining 10-15 hours of direct experience for the Spring 2023 term.
For UTEP SLP students assigned to ELB, duties include:
-Engage in ongoing language and literacy enrichment techniques.
-Plan curriculum-based lessons that directly align with ELB’s thematic planning. -Support ELB teachers during large groups, as directed.
-Lead language-focused “stations” with an activity that has well-defined objectives, vocabulary, multi-sensory engagement, and is contextualized.
“At table-top stations, we worked with 2-3 children and one teacher per station. This 2:1 ratio was perfect since the children were not over-stimulated, but well supported. This helped me realize our lesson plans should not be limited to just the target words we had in mind, but indirectly model behavior for other social and life skills,” said Bianca Guerra, UTEP SLP Graduate Clinician.
“This community collaboration between us at ELB and UTEP Speech-Language Pathology is a natural fit, and our staff is grateful for the support. We cannot express how important early intervention is to preventing children with intellectual or developmental disabilities from graduating to the couch as they mature,” said Jessica Quinn, director of Every Little Blessing Preschool and the El Paso Special Needs Education Center. “The saying, ‘it takes a village…’ is so true. We look forward to expanding our village of support with UTEP and other community professionals, and we invite anyone to reach out to us if they’re interested in being part of something special.”