NCELSSP-HI Newsletter

Summer 2019

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program For Children With Hearing Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Exceptional Children Division

Sensory Support and Assistive Technology Section


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how to make a referral

Contact Mandy Hice, BS, ITFS
Social Worker II and Intake Coordinator


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Table of Contents

Cute Corner

Hearing Loss Awareness Month

ELSSP Opening Convocation Information

Camp Cheerio

Community of Practice

Reading: A Great Experience

Resources and Opportunities for Families

Resources for Fun and Games

"There's an App for That!"

Where Are They Now?

Staff Spotlight

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Cute Corner

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Hearing Loss Awareness Month

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Our very own Jenni Campagna and her husband Jeff Campagna, representatives of the Hearing Loss Association of America-Charlotte Chapter, were invited by Governor Roy Cooper to officially proclaim May as Hearing Loss Awareness Month. Jenni is located in the center wearing a pink shirt.
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Early Learning Sensory Support Program Opening Convocation

Save the Date

August 13-14, 2019

Double Tree by Hilton Raleigh Crabtree Valley

4100 Glenwood Ave

Raleigh, NC

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Camp Cheerio

Every May, Camp Cheerio, a camp in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, welcomes families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. This year the theme was “Disney”. Volunteers dressed in Disney themed aprons and headbands welcomed the families and children. Several of the Early Learning Sensory Support Staff volunteered to help with the children and young adults. Meg Locklear had a blast with the Kindergartners. Renee Barnes and her daughter played all day with the Infant group. Nancy Collado provided interpreting services for the Spanish speaking families. Jenni Campagna and her husband Jeff had fun with the Young Adults group.

The camp is so exciting for participants and volunteers. The families have a great time meeting new friends and reuniting with old ones. The children, teenagers and young adults enjoy making friends, hanging with old buddies, and playing Gaga Ball, basketball, a board game or a game of cards. A dance was given and most of the people dressed as their favorite Disney characters. The parents learned tons of information at workshops and panels or learning cued speech. There was also an ice cream social and a homemade waterslide. So much fun to be had! The views of the mountains are beautiful.

Consider coming out next year to participate in workshops or to learn cued speech. Or come out and volunteer! The volunteers always enjoy seeing the children they work with grow up from year to year. The parents are extremely interesting to connect with and talk to. They have stories about how their child’s hearing loss was identified, their early intervention services or school services and it’s so fascinating! Spring Camp Cheerio is great!

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Community of Practice

On May 21, 2019 the Community of Practice in Natural Learning Environments and Coaching and the Community of Practice in Providing Services to Children with Hearing Impairments in Childcare Settings met at the Hemphill Branch Library in Greensboro for an informative and interactive meeting. Angie Phipps Team Leader and the Coaching Coordinator, Tracy Williams, SLP and Master Coach, and Traci Tiller, Service Coordinator and Master Coach came from the Greensboro CDSA and shared their knowledge and expertise on using coaching when providing services in a childcare center. ELSSP-HI teachers shared videos and discussed their strategies, successes and challenges using coaching practices both in homes and in childcare settings.

NLE/Coaching CoP Leaders: Cindy Boyd, Preston Collins, Kristen Steele, Mary Lou Wright Childcare CoP Leaders: Sara Falkner, Emily Reeves, Cindy Tedder, Emily Orman, Anna Ownbey

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Reading: A Great EXPERIENCE

Submitted by: Roxanne Falls and Elizabeth Hopkins

Experience books are family made books starring the child! “Experience books are useful tools to encourage many early school skills including pre-literacy. Pre-literacy means language learning, phonological awareness, knowledge of the alphabet and the understanding of how print is used (in English: left to right and up to down on a page).”

Reference: Eyes on Experience Books, by the John Tracy Clinic.

There are many types of experience books to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing children new vocabulary and language skills. Parents and caregivers can include a variety of materials including photos, drawings, magazine clippings and/or meaningful objects from an activity/outing (i.e. band-aid for a boo-boo, map from the zoo, ticket from a show, etc.).

Families are encouraged to add written words to each page to help the child make connections between the printed words and spoken language. As the child progresses in his/her language development, the complexity of the narration, questions and discussions with parents and caregivers can be expanded.

Click on the link below for more ideas & examples of experience books from the John Tracy Clinic:

Examples of homemade photo books:

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Resources and Opportunities for Families

HITCH-UP Parent Support Groups

These parent lead support groups provide support to parents of children with hearing loss.

Charlotte HITCH-UP


(Guilford County/Greensboro Area)

Triangle Area HITCH-UP

(Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Area)

Facebook Page:

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Resources for Fun and Games

For stories and related activities for children of all ages. The area of the site geared toward preschoolers has short stories on a variety of themes presented with audio and text.

This site provides typical action games but for the most language and auditory skills work, look for those you can play along with your child such as the Picture Puzzlers where you can identify differences in two nearly identical photos. This site is more for elementary aged children.

This site provides links to games for children of all ages, from preschool to junior high. This is an interactive click and drag games on a variety of themes. These activities are excellent for use with goals related to following auditory directions, listening to descriptive language and practicing auditory sequencing. This site provides links to games for children of all ages - preschool to junior high.

For logic problems to complete with children of all ages. These logic problems provide opportunities to work on problem solving skills when approached with a child's auditory and language goals in mind. Parental support will be required to choose appropriate puzzlers for children of various ages. Taking a look in advance will allow you to pre-determine how you can use each puzzle to practice vocabulary, spoken language and auditory goals.

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"There's an app for that!"

Learn to Listen by

The Learning to Listen Sounds for the iPod Touch or iPhone.

Ling 6 Sound Application by

A fun way to perform the Ling Sound check.

Model Me Going by Model Me Kids, LLC

An app for iPad that shows sequence stories of children going various places (restaurant, the doctor, etc). Great way to work on the language of sequences, pragmatic language and vocabulary.

Read Me Stories by 8Interactive Limited

A story a day introducing various themes and vocabulary.

Clicky Sticky by invocore

Interactive sticker game, great for vocabulary building on a variety of themes.

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Where are they now?


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Submitted by his mother

My experience with ELSSP-HI was amazing! Jayden was shy at first, meeting new people was not "his thing". Once he was comfortable he started to try to communicate. It was just grunts and a lot of no's first, then he started to have fun.

Jayden picked up signing just a few words quick. He continues to sign "more", "eat" , "finished" , and "please". He absolutely loves animals. He was able to learn and begin to associate sounds with pictures and toys of animals.

Being able to have ELSSP-HI services paved the way for Jayden to learn how to communicate in his own way. Whether it's signing or talking. We are thankful to have had a great learning experience with ELSSP-HI.

Teacher: Sharon Moore

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Staff Spotlight

Elizabeth Hopkins

Hello! I am Elizabeth Hopkins. I have been a resident of Charlotte since graduating from college, but grew up in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I have always been passionate about working with children and my interest in educating the deaf community began in high school where I took a sign language course, taught by a deaf teacher. I also participated in an internship for a semester at a local elementary school working with a class of hearing-impaired children. At my high school graduation, I and a few other classmates signed the “Star Spangled Banner” in front of several thousand of my closest family and friends. What an honor!

I graduated in 2001, earning my bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Throughout my college years, I was involved in a traveling campus sign language ministry called “Vision”. “Vision” interpreted words and concepts of Christian music that reached both the deaf population as well as the hearing.

During my first two years of teaching, I taught a small group of children with hearing loss in 3rd-5th grade at Cotswold Elementary School. The students in the classroom used a Total Communication Approach. . Following that challenging experience, I had the opportunity to teach fourth grade at a private Christian school in South Charlotte for one year. Although each teaching position was very different from one another, both experiences taught me patience and perseverance!

I have been in my current position as an Early Intervention Teacher of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing since November 2004 and love what I am doing! Over the years, I have been fortunate to work with some amazing families and colleagues and have learned so much about communication, diversity, cultures, language and the advances in technology.

Faith and family are very important to me! I enjoy spending time with my husband, Casey and my daughter, Makayla, 7. Oh, and Sadie too, my beloved 10-year-old Lab-mix! Throughout my 14 years of marriage, Casey and I have traveled to several European and Caribbean counties, exploring many wonders of the world, including Rome’s Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower, the ruins of Pompei, the Neuschwanstein Castle and the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Cruisin’ is definitely the way to go!! Makayla is the light of my life and keeps me busy with her involvement in swim team. She certainly takes after her mom with her swimming abilities!!!

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Newsletter Committee

Chris Czajkowski

Donna Snipes


Elizabeth Hopkins

Roxanne Falls

Preston Collins

Meg Locklear

Sharon Moore