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Business donates Playground Communication Board to S.P.I.C.E. preschool

Gold celebrating the best of GPS!

A photo of the hanging Playground Communication Board featuring colorful words and images.Through the generosity of our community, preschool students in the S.P.I.C.E. program at Carol Rae Ranch Elementary have a new playground tool to help develop their communication skills. Prisma Message to Market donated a playground communication board to support the students with their needs.

“This is the primary means for many of our kids to initiate communication, work on back-and-forth communication, let us know their needs and wants, make comments, and overall, that reduces their frustrations immensely,” said Lindsey Parkhouse, a speech and language pathologist at Carol Rae Ranch. 

Parkhouse previously created her own version of the communication board, but the elements of the weather destroyed it. She began looking for a more permanent solution. The new metal board from Prisma Message to Market features bright, colorful images and words, which has been a real hit with the students. 

Children in the S.P.I.C.E. program have a diagnosis or show characteristics of autism and other related diagnoses. Parkhouse says helping the students with their motor skills, imitating sounds and actions are just some of the techniques that are focused on in the program.

“It’s important for us to not just celebrate the big successes, but the small ones too, like a high-five, an imitation of a sound, or turning toward their name being called,” she said.

S.P.I.C.E. stands for Social, Pragmatics, Independence, Communication and Emotional Regulation. The preschool program offers self-contained classes where each child’s individual needs drive their learning experience. When working with the students, Parkhouse does group time with greetings, songs, books, vocabulary, questions and answers, and much more.

A photo of the original Playground Communication Board showing a torn piece of paper with colorful drawings.“It is amazing. I love it! It’s very challenging too. Every day is different. Every child is different. Every path of learning is different with each child. It is very gratifying,” she said. 

Parkhouse enjoys working with S.P.I.C.E. students and their families. Preschool is often the first encounter families have with Gilbert Public Schools, and Parkhouse considers it a privilege to be part of those initial interactions.

“I feel very honored to help set that precedent with our families and grow those relationships,” she said.

To learn more about the S.P.I.C.E. preschool program or Carol Rae Ranch Elementary, visit the school’s website and schedule a tour today!

Written by Kailey Latham