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Strong Legacy: Central Institute for the Deaf

Founded in 1914 by Dr. Max Goldstein, Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) offers a unique education for hearing-impaired children. Instead of teaching sign language, its innovative curriculum focuses on speaking skills to allow students to integrate into neighborhood schools and achieve success as adults.

“At CID, we teach language and literacy along with academics and social skills,” says executive director Robin Feder. Educators work with babies and toddlers in the home, and students ages 3 to 12 attend its all-day school, located just east of Forest Park. Students typically stay at CID four or five years before joining their peers, according to Feder. “Last year, we served 235 students, and families move from all over the world to attend,” she notes. “Parents choose us because of our legacy of helping children communicate and thrive in their broader communities.”

The school also offers programs to support professionals in the field. According to Feder, in 2018, 2,600 educators accessed CID’s online courses, workshops and consulting services through its Emerson Center for Professional Development. Recently, the school launched Early Listening at Home (ELH), a curriculum for providers working with parents of children from birth to age 3 who are deaf or hard of hearing. It aims to help young children develop listening skills. “We introduced ELH at a national conference in March, and it’s already receiving positive feedback,” Feder says.

Along with innovative educational experiences, the school provides annual audiologic evaluations, on-site support for hearing aids and cochlear implants, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy. Feder estimates that the services provided cost more than $50,000 annually for each student attending the school, but CID never turns a child away because of a family’s inability to pay. The school relies on donations and community partnerships to ensure it can help kids achieve their full potential. “Generous donations allow us to keep class sizes small and provide comprehensive support for all students,” Feder says.

The annual CID Out Loud! fundraiser generates much-needed support. Wells Fargo Advisors is the event’s sponsor. “Wells Fargo philanthropy reaches deep into the community,” says Vianey Beltran, vice president of community relations. “We are proud to support Central Institute for the Deaf and all of the great work they do for our community.”

This year, the festive gala is May 11 at The Ritz-Carlton and is themed ‘CID-opoly.’ “We’re taking inspiration from Monopoly to create a fun, unique evening,” Feder says. Guests can look forward to food and drinks themed after the classic board game, as well as surprise entertainment. Silent and live auctions will include items like a 30-person suite at a Blues game and trips to New York City, Boston and Disney World. Returning from last year, the golden ticket raffle will allow the winner to pick a live auction package before bidding starts.

Frank Childress, managing director for Wells Fargo Advisors’ Equity Services Group, is a CID board member with a special connection to the organization. His uncle was born deaf and attended the school. “I am very proud of the work CID does in our community and excited for its future as it expands programming to reach more populations,” he says. “It continues to build on its legacy and has strong leadership guiding it, but what is truly inspiring are the smiles and laughter you see when you visit.”

Central Institute for the Deaf is dedicated to teaching hearing-impaired children the skills they need to communicate and achieve their full potential. The CID Out Loud! Gala is May 11 at The Ritz-Carlton. Pictured on the cover with CID students: Board member Frank Childress of Wells Fargo Advisors. For more information, call 314.977.0226 or visit cid.edu

Cover design by Julie Streiler | Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

Pictured at top: CID parent educator Emily Humphrey works with a mother and child.
Photo courtesy of CID

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Strong Legacy: Central Institute for the Deaf
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Strong Legacy: Central Institute for the Deaf
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Founded in 1914 by Dr. Max Goldstein, Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) offers a unique education for hearing-impaired children. Instead of teaching sign language, its innovative curriculum focuses on speaking skills to allow students to integrate into neighborhood schools and achieve success as adults.
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