Elks and Royal Purple Elks raise awareness of Speech and Hearing Month with flag raising

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Grant Ursaki and Don Bernier of the Prince Albert Elks and Peggy Kugler and Angie Nelson of the Prince Albert Elks Royal Purple raised a flag for Speech and Hearing Month at the Prince Albert Elks Hall on Monday.

It’s officially Speech and Hearing Month in Prince Albert, and the Prince Albert Elks and Prince Albert Royal Purple Elks want to get everyone talking about it.

The two groups held a flag raising ceremony at the Prince Albert Elks Hall to officially kick off the month. Angie Nelson, Honoured Royal Lady of the Prince Albert Royal Purple Elks, said supporting early learning detection and intervention programs are important to the Elks of Canada, and that’s what they want to focus on.

“The Prince Albert Elks No. 58 and the Prince Albert Royal Purple Elks No. 50 have always done a Speech and Hearing month,” Nelson explained. “It is just to make the public aware that there are programs out there for children under the age of 18.

Nelson said the early learning and detection programs are important because most children with speech or hearing problems are not diagnosed at an early age. The two Prince Albert groups work in conjunction with the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon to help keep those efforts going.

“We started this program many years ago,” she added. “We just want the public to know that there are programs out there and Prince Albert is very active in helping out people in our area especially the young children.”

According to an Elks and Royal Purple press release, one in six people has a speech, language or hearing disorder. Children are at risk of developing social, emotional, behavioural and possibly learning problems if these problems are not diagnosed earlier.

The release states that communication is a vital link between human beings. Through our ears we gain much of our information about others and the world around us. It goes on to state that we need to ensure that all children have access to newborn screening and timely intervention services to enable them to live lives to their potential.

Newborn hearing screening is an essential first step in the strategy for identifying children with permanent hearing loss and should be the standard of care in Canada. Early intervention is critical for children identified with communication problems.

The Saskatchewan Elks solicit donations to help Saskatchewan residents with grants for medical needs, operate the Seniors Homes, and make significant contributions to the Sask. Pediatric Auditory Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC) in Saskatoon.

SPARC is an early detection, assessment, and (re)habilitation program for hearing impaired children in the Province. SPARC, the Children’s Hearing Centre, is located at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

Another way to support the Elks is through their Trucks and Bucks Lottery, for more information visit trucksandbucks.ca.

For more information on Speech and Hearing Month contact the Prince Albert Elks and Royal Purple Elks or call the Elks of Canada toll free at 1-888-THE-ELKS (843-3557).