Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech to Offer Open Houses on Nov. 3

 In Client Press Releases

Events at the Integrated Preschool on Round Hill Road and Clarke’s K-8 program at Leeds Elementary School are part of continuous 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 2017

NORTHAMPTON— As part of its 150th anniversary celebrations to be held this fall, Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech will hold two open houses on Nov. 3 at its Integrated Preschool on Round Hill Road and at its K-8 Program co-located at Leeds Elementary School.

The events are free and open to the public and are offered as a way to show community members how Clarke teaches children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk.

From 9 to 11 a.m., community members are invited into the preschool at 45 Round Hill Road to observe students and their teachers, playing and learning in a listening and spoken language environment, along with peers from the community.

From 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., the K-8 Program at Leeds Elementary School will open its doors to the community. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet and interact with students and staff, visit classrooms and learn first-hand about the program.

Staff members will be on hand at both locations to answer questions and to offer tours to anyone who is interested. Visitors to the preschool can also experience the observation rooms, inside which parents of Clarke students can watch their children in their learning environment.

Registration is required for each open house by contacting Jan Folts at

Clarke Northampton’s Parent-Infant/Toddler Program and Integrated Preschool is led by Marian Hartblay, director of Early Childhood Services, and embraces Clarke’s philosophy that a student’s family is his or her most influential asset.

“Clarke’s work often begins with families shortly after an infant is diagnosed with hearing loss,” Hartblay said. “We meet with families in their homes, at the center and through virtual telepractice visits, made possible by technology. At age 3, children come daily to the preschool.  While our students are learning to listen, observe actively and interact with new concepts and people, their parents and other family members are learning, too.

“Parents, grandparents and other adults in the child’s life find a support network of families and professionals at Clarke, where they can share and learn,” she added.

Claire Troiano is the director of Mainstream Services and the educational administrator of the K-8 Program. She said the program—also family-centric—is led by creative and committed professionals, teachers who are all master level teachers of the deaf, and speech-language pathologists, all specifically trained in developing listening and spoken language in children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Clarke’s Mainstream Services Department originated in 1977 and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. It provides itinerant teacher of the deaf services in mainstream schools to students who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as consultation and training to staff.

The open houses—and several other recent events—are held in recognition of the school’s 150th anniversary to underscore Clarke’s rich history in serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families by teaching them to listen and talk.

Throughout 2017, Clarke will host additional events in the four other cities in which it provides services: Boston; New York City; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Clarke serves children from birth to age 18 who use hearing technology—including cochlear implants or hearing aids—to maximize their access to sound; they receive individualized support from Clarke’s teachers and therapists. The school has been teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and talk for 150 years. It also continues to evolve to best meet the needs of children and families today through its toddler, virtual tVISIT, preschool, K-8 and mainstream and summer programs, as well as through is hearing center, comprehensive educational evaluations, and research and professional development.

As part of the 150th Anniversary celebrations, Clarke has established an 1867 Society, for those who make gifts of $1,000 or more, and it is actively raising funds with the hope of serving more families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing—in this region and across the globe.

Upcoming anniversary events will also be held: Oct. 26 in Dedham; Nov. 6 in New York City; Nov. 8 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Dec. 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.

For more information on the anniversary events, or to donate to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech or join its 1867 Society, contact Lillian Rountree, chief development officer, at or 973-453-5635.

Learn more about Clarke at

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