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Chalk Fest to draw up support for Bill Wilkerson Center

Apr. 9, 2015, 9:25 AM

Professional artists, hobbyists and art enthusiasts from around the country will create sidewalk chalk art in Hillsboro Village this weekend during the premiere of Nashville Chalk Fest — the first celebration of what is hoped to become an annual tradition that benefits the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences.

The free event, which happens Saturday and Sunday, also features live entertainment, food, face painting and balloon art. The family fun runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday at Belcourt Avenue and 24th Avenue next to Fannie Mae Dees Park.

The Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences has provided hearing and speech services to patients of all ages and their families for more than 60 years. Housed within the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences are the Preschool for Children with Autism and the Mama Lere Hearing School, which will benefit most significantly from the proceeds from the event, which come from paid sponsorships.

The Preschool for Children with Autism opened in August 2014 and is an intensive communication intervention program for children with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
A multi-disciplinary team works to provide comprehensive services in communication, behavior, pragmatics, and sensory-based and fine-motor needs. Nine students are enrolled, between the ages of 18 months to 5 years.

The Mama Lere Hearing School is an auditory aural preschool for children with hearing loss who use cochlear implants or digital hearing aids to learn to listen, sing, read and talk. The goal of the school is to have all children talking, understanding and reading at peer level by the time they reach first grade and are ready to be mainstreamed with their normal-hearing peers. The school has an average enrollment of 35 students between the ages of 18 months and 5 years.
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