Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
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Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech (formerly Clarke School for the Deaf) is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in educating children who are deaf or hard of hearing using listening and spoken language (oralism) through the assistance of hearing technology such as hearing aids and cochlear implants. Clarke's five campuses serve more than 1,000 students annually in Northampton, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Jacksonville. Clarke is the oldest and largest school of its kind in the U.S.
|Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech|
45 Round Hill Road
|Former name||Clarke School for the Deaf|
|Type||Nonprofit organization teaching children who are deaf or hard of hearing to listen and speak|
|President||Mr. Doug Scott|
|Staff||More than 150 staff members|
|Faculty||More than 30 faculty members|
Clarke School for the Deaf was founded in 1867 in Northampton, Massachusetts, as the first permanent oral school for the deaf in the United States, and it has gained an international reputation as a pioneer and a leader in the field of listening and spoken language. A local benefactor, John Clarke, offered a $50,000 grant to anyone who would start a school for the deaf in Northampton. Gardiner Greene Hubbard, with the state government and numerous individuals, played a role in the founding of Clarke. Clarke was not only the first school to teach children with hearing loss to speak in the United States, but also the first to initiate education in the early years and the first to recognize the importance of students entering mainstream classrooms. Clarke was the first to train teachers in auditory/oral education and in 1962 enhanced its teacher education program by partnering with Smith College, where graduates can earn a Masters of Education of the Deaf. As of 2008, over 1,400 teachers of the deaf had been trained through the Smith College/Clarke Graduate Teacher Education program. Alexander Graham Bell, President Calvin Coolidge, and First Lady Grace Coolidge served on Clarke’s Board of Trustees, with Bell and Grace Coolidge serving as chair of the board at different times. In the first quarter of 2010, Clarke announced the new name better reflecting their mission from Clarke School for the Deaf to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech. Subsequently, a new logo and website were created to complete the rebranding
In the present day, the Clarke School has campuses not only in Northampton, but at:
Clarke's Summer CampEdit
Clarke's Summer Camp (formally called "Clarke's Summer Adventure") is a two-week, theme-based camp for children ages 9 to 17 with hearing loss who utilize hearing technology (such as hearing aids or cochlear implants) and communicate using listening and spoken language. Activities are led by experienced teachers of the deaf and young adults with hearing loss, and encourage leadership and independence, while enhancing listening, communication and social skills. Held in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Clarke's Summer Camp offers campers the opportunity to interact with other children with hearing loss from all over the country and make new friends. Children enjoy field trips, recreation, arts and crafts, hiking, swimming, and more.
According to historians at the school, Calvin Coolidge (standing far right in the photo with Clarence W. Barron in the center) lived on campus where he met his future wife in Grace Anna Goodhue (standing far left of picture below). In 1902, Mr. Coolidge lived in Adams House (formerly known as Weir House), a faculty house behind to the school's main dormitory. Grace Goodhue was a teacher at the school at the time when one morning, while working in the garden between Adams House and dormitory, she saw Mr. Coolidge (a lawyer working for a local practice) shaving in his second floor bathroom with a hat and a union suit on. Grace Goodhue thought it was a funny sight, and laughed out loud.
That apparently got the attention of Coolidge and later that year, he and Grace Goodhue began dating. In 1905 Grace Goodhue left the school after only three years of service to marry Calvin and join him in his political career. After finishing his work as a local lawyer in Western Massachusetts, Calvin would go on to be the Mayor of Northampton, Governor of Massachusetts, Vice President and President of the United States of America.
In 2007, Clarke School was featured in the PBS documentary, "Through Deaf Eyes" produced by Larry Hott. The documentary depicted deafness and Deaf culture in the United States and the choices parents face between sign language and oral language.
- Ella Seaver Owen (1852–1910), artist, teacher
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