DeLTA Center awards outreach and engagement grant to Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Grant targets language growth in children from low-income backgrounds
Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Kristi Hendrickson

The DeLTA Center has awarded an outreach and engagement grant to Assistant Professor Kristi Hendrickson of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The Promoting Language Acquisition in Youth (PLAY) Project is aimed at teaching student speech-language clinicians at the University of Iowa and early childhood teachers at the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County (NCJC) evidence-based strategies ­for facilitating language growth in children from low-income backgrounds.

For over 35 years, the NCJC has served the most vulnerable children, and the target neighborhoods continue to grow in both poverty and diversity. Given that poverty is a major obstacle to optimal language development, there is a growing need to support the NCJC by offering education in language development and the resources to support language learning. The PLAY project seeks to deepen students’ community involvement and academic learning by creating relationships between early educators, children in need of speech and language services, and University of Iowa students.

The DeLTA (Development and Learning from Theory to Application) Center is an interdisciplinary research community at the University of Iowa dedicated to exploring the processes of learning and development by promoting interactions between basic and applied researchers, training the next generation of collaborative scientists, and actively engaging with community partners. It is a unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.