RiteCare Valley Makes $100,000 Donation to Truman Early Literacy Lab

The RiteCare-Communication Disorders Early Literacy Lab, located on the Truman campus, will be able to improve upon the free services it provides to the northeast Missouri community thanks to a $100,000 donation from RiteCare Valley of Columbia, Mo., an affiliate of the Scottish Rite, a national Masonic organization. RiteCare Valley’s mission is to aid and assist children with learning and communication disorders.

In 2003, Truman and  RiteCare Valley agreed to co-found and support the RiteCare-Communication Disorders Early Literacy Lab to prevent literacy problems in children who are at high risk. Truman faculty members and students provide their services at the Early Literacy Lab, while RiteCare provides funds for materials, training and other program expenses.

Funds from the RiteCare Valley donation will be used to provide state-of-the-art tests, therapy materials, computers and software to aid in the evaluation and treatment of clients. It may also be used to support student research, continuing education and other related activities in the area of literacy.

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Members representing the Columbia Valley region of the Scottish Rite recently donated $100,000 to benefit the RiteCare-Communication Disorders Early Literacy Lab. Pictured, front row, from left; Barry Cundiff; Bobby Daniels; Duane Dimmitt; Janet Gooch, Communications Disorders chair; Amy Little; Kenneth Read, Truman Board of Governor; John Siscel, Truman Board of Governor. Back row; Keith Neese, Executive Director, Masonic Home; Kelley Snipes; Terri Fechtling; Robert Barrett; University President Darrell W. Krueger; Brent Stewart, Grand Lodge of Missouri.

The RiteCare-Communication Disorders Early Literacy Lab is one of 178 clinics, centers and specialty programs supported by the Scottish Rite throughout the country. Located in Barnett Hall, the Early Literacy Lab is one aspect of Truman’s Speech and Hearing Clinic. Approximately 1,000 residents of all ages, from within a 100-mile radius of Kirksville, visit the Speech and Hearing Clinic each year to receive diagnostic and treatment services at no cost.

In addition to providing services, the Speech and Hearing Clinic provides Truman Communication Disorders students the opportunity to learn in a hands-on environment. Students begin by observing therapy, then become clinical assistants and eventually assume the responsibilities of student clinicians. Under the guidance of certified faculty, they test and treat clients for various speech, hearing and communicative disorders such as language, articulation, early literacy, voice, fluency, augmentative and aural rehabilitation.

Nearly all Truman Communication Disorders undergraduates continue their studies at the graduate level.

Students with a graduate degree from Truman meet requirements for State of Missouri licensure, public school certification and national certification from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 

For more information about the RiteCare-Communication Disorders Early Literacy Lab, or to make an appointment at the Speech and Hearing Clinic, call 660.785.7414.

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