About

Visit http://www.georgialiteracy.org for a more in-depth look at what we’re all about!

Hi!

What a joy it is to be a part of the team at Georgia Pathway.

I thought that you might want to know who’s behind the website, newsletters, and tweets you’ve been reading. Who I am, what I’m about, how I got here.

The first thing you might want to know about me –

I’m a dreamer. An idealist at my core.

I relate to children, their enthusiasm, and their unbridled love for others.

Working with and for children, especially children with special needs, has become my passion. For several years, I worked in the camp environment at Camp Twin Lakes, which serves kids with special medical needs and life challenges, ranging from children with muscular dystrophy to children who have been abused and neglected. There, I was able to help each child realize his or her potential through recreational therapy. I’m an arts person myself, so I taught dances, performed improv theater with them, helped them write and record songs at our radio station. You name it, we’ve done it. What was so beautiful about those summers at camp was helping children express themselves. Because, at the end of the day, all anybody really wants is to be heard.

I was lucky enough to meet Comer Yates while working at Twin Lakes. His daughter, a friend of mine on staff, mentioned an open position at the Speech School, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was meant to teach here, to grow with these kids, to advocate for their rights,

to understand the necessity of early intervention.

As a teacher of toddlers who are deaf and hard of hearing, I am ever aware of the gravity of my responsibility. Their young, impressionable minds have been entrusted to me. By sharing their children with us each day, parents express their faith, that we will better their child’s life and education through language. And I’ve signed on the dotted line. I’ve agreed to love, to support, to pursue their child’s best interests.

Which leads me to you. Where do you fit into this?

A serendipitous turn of events led me to Georgia Pathway, and here I am.

Your newest advocate and team player, Sophie.

I am working on the social media side of Georgia Pathway. My job is to engage the community.

To collaborate with you.
To listen.
To facilitate conversation.
To serve your needs to the best of my ability.

And to learn from you.

I am a hearing person, so my experience relating to Deaf culture is limited. I endeavor to serve this community with sensitivity, but I will inevitably fall short. When I make mistakes, however big or small, please know I am trying. My intention will always be to support you as we work towards our goal of helping Georgia’s children on their path to 3rd grade reading.

Through the Georgia Pathway website and Message Board, my blog, email newsletters, and our various social media sites – Facebook and Twitter, to start –

We will be spreading the word

that children who are deaf and hard of hearing need to read on-level by the 3rd grade.

But why is this important?

Georgia’s children who are deaf and hard of hearing are rarely reaching on-level literacy by the 3rd grade.

And if they’re not reading past the 3rd grade reading level,

their futures are at stake.

In come you all.

To help each of these kids find the LANGUAGE they need to meet the literacy goal we have collectively –

That by 2020, each child in the state of Georgia who is deaf or hard of hearing will be on a path to third grade reading.

We are all Pathfinders, each and every one of us who visits Georgia Pathway, shares our mission, and engages in this community.

It’s a lofty dream we’re hoping to achieve.

But I pray that each of you will find your role in all of this. In the classroom, at home, at the hospital, in an office. Wherever you may be.

‘Cause, let’s face it.

We cannot do it without you.

Yours,
Sophie Edwards

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6 thoughts on “About

  1. I was talking about this with my friend who is Deaf (We are both teenagers in New Zealand), I didn’t realise that a lot of Deaf/HoH kids actually can’t read and write English very well, because they’re using two different languages. One is a physical one, the other a mental one, and they find it hard to correlate what their hands are doing to what their eyes are reading. It’s a little surprising but not unexpected to know that this is a problem within many Deaf communities.
    Thank you for setting this up, I hope there is/will be something similar in New Zealand so that no child misses out on the joys of reading and writing whether they can hear or not.

  2. Hello Sophie! I love how you say you’re “a dreamer. An idealist at my core.” Your blog is great. I found one article and found myself hopping around to a few more! I’m the founder of The Deaf Dream organization and when I read that you’re a dreamer, I thought maybe you’d be interested in our little volunteer organization. 🙂 We empower Deaf worldwide to reach their dreams. It would be cool to connect and build some synergy. Merry Christmas, Sophie! –Destiny Yarbro

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