Sierrah Harris, Class of 2020, did her capstone project on how often SLPs use books featuring Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Indigenous protagonists – and unfortunately what she found matched her lived experiences…. these books are rarely used by SLPs during clinical practice.
Books serve as a way for children to develop self-identity and understand their role in the world. Books are also frequently used in Speech/Language Therapy to support children with Communication Disorders. Unfortunately, the books available to most Speech Language Pathologists do not feature Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Indigenous children because the books published over the last 20 years are not very diverse.
Sierrah has worked to develop Turn the Page SLPs, a program that will allow SLPs in Delaware to request new books featuring diverse protagonists from a curated list of books (https://www.jotform.com/form/201605808120141). She has a vision that includes professional development and book swaps to maximize the use of these resources. Unfortunately, high quality children’s books are expensive, ranging from $15-$30 each, meaning that it’s expensive to get books in the hands of SLPs. If funded, Turn the Page SLPs has the potential to transform the materials used by SLPs to reflect the caseloads that they serve. UD Henfunder recently picked up Turn the Page SLPs as a project that was crowdfunded as part of #GivingTuesday. Books were to be purchased from a local (Delaware based) Black-owned bookstore, keeping the dollars local to our state.