Bill Corwin: Sale of ‘excess’ land reflects shifting mission at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech
To the editor:
With regard to the recent article about Clarke’s sale of its excess property (Gazette, Monday), readers may have mistakenly received the impression that the entire property was sold to Opal Real Estate. In fact, the majority of Clarke’s Northampton-based programs will continue to operate in full force on Round Hill Road.
Round Hill will continue to house Clarke’s Infant-Toddler Programs, Distance Learning Programs, Preschool Programs, Mainstream Services, Smith/Clarke Masters Program, the Clarke Hearing Center, the Summer Adventure Program and Clarke’s administrative offices. Clarke’s K-8 Program is co-located in Leeds Elementary and there are six additional Clarke locations throughout the East Coast, with our national headquarters located here on Round Hill.
Clarke is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization exclusively devoted to teaching children who are deaf and hard of hearing to listen and talk. Children served by Clarke use advanced technologies including cochlear implants and digital hearing aids to maximize their access to sound, and many who come to Clarke are ready to attend their neighborhood mainstream schools on par with their hearing peers by kindergarten.
The sale of Clarke’s excess property reflects new ways in which we deliver our services. In recent years, many of Clarke’s programs have experienced tremendous growth and while our classrooms continue to be national models of excellence, many of our services are increasingly being delivered off-site. Each day professionals from Clarke travel to mainstream schools, communities and homes, and even provide services via the Internet to families around the globe.
Today, Clarke is serving more children and families ever before, and we are delighted to continue to do so from our headquarters on Round Hill.
Bill Corwin is president of the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.