Erik Valdez, who plays Kyle Cushing on the Warner Bros. drama <em>Superman and </em><em>Lois</em>, recorded a message of support to help kick off Reach Child and Youth Development Society’s 2021 Gift of Speech holiday campaign. (Reach Child and Youth Development Society photo)

Erik Valdez, who plays Kyle Cushing on the Warner Bros. drama Superman and Lois, recorded a message of support to help kick off Reach Child and Youth Development Society’s 2021 Gift of Speech holiday campaign. (Reach Child and Youth Development Society photo)

Help Reach give the Gift of Speech this holiday season

Society kicked off Gift of Speech holiday campaign Nov. 30; aims to provide speech therapy for 50 kids

Reach Child and Youth Development Society is asking Deltans to help give the Gift of Speech this holiday season.

The society kicked off its Gift of Speech holiday campaign this Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30) with the aim of removing 50 children from its speech therapy waitlist. A gift of $50 will allow one child to receive a speech therapy session, and 10 sessions are enough to make a meaningful difference to a family.

“Many children have speech deficits that can limit their future and it is critical to provide support as early as possible,” Reach Society said in a press release.

Among its many services, the society provides speech therapy to children with complex development needs using augmentative tools like iPads that help children communicate for the first time.

Nicole using an iPad augmentative tool during a Reach Society speech therapy session. (Reach Child and Youth Development Society photo)

This year’s Gift of Speech campaign focuses on Nicole, who when she joined Reach’s under-six program for children with autism at three years old had no verbal language. By the time she graduated from the program, she was communicating verbally using words and short phrases and was using an iPad to learn to use longer sentences.

Nicole is now in the over-six program and continues to make progress with her language, academic and self-help skills.

Supporting this year’s Gift of Speech campaign are Warner Bros. and Envision Financial.

The cast of Superman & Lois kicked off the campaign with a video message from Erik Valdez, who plays Kyle Cushing on the Warner Bros. program, and a donation of 120 hours of speech therapy.

“Join us in supporting Reach and giving the gift of speech to a family this holiday season. You can help parents who think that their child may never be able to communicate with them by providing their children with speech therapy,” Valdez said in his video message.

“As a father myself, I can tell you that the ability to converse with your child is one of the best things in the world. So here’s your chance to become a real-life superhero — with our contributions, help is within reach.”

In another show of community support, Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, will match $5,000 in donations once $10,000 is raised.

“Every child deserves the support they need,” Dave Lanphear, president of Envision Financial, said in a press release. “As a financial co-operative, we’re honoured to have the opportunity to positively impact the lives of the children in our community through the Reach Gift of Speech program and encourage you to do the same.”

Reach Child and Youth Development Society is a non-profit charitable society that has been providing services to children and their families since 1959. Reach currently provides programs and services to over 1,000 children and their families in Delta, Surrey and Langley every year.

For more on the 2021 Gift of Speech campaign and to make a donation, visit reachchild.org/gift-of-speech-2021.



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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