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BLLING Healthy Speech-Language-Hearing Fair
The Bilingual Language and Literacy Investigative and Networking Group (BLLING), in collaboration with the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders' Speech, Language, and Hearing Center conducted its first "Healthy Speech-Language-Hearing" Fair to benefit Spanish-speaking immigrant families in Plant City, FL. This event was held on March 28th, 2015 at Learn Tampa Bay. Learn Tampa Bay is a nonprofit literacy academy founded by Angelica Ibarra, and which assists families wanting to improve their lives through education. The Healthy Speech-Language-Hearing Fair included free speech, language, and hearing screenings for children ages 2-6 years of age and an informational lecture for all families about language development and early prevention of language disorders in Spanish and English. Sixteen Spanish-speaking families participated. The event included superb collaboration from over 20 undergraduate students, master's speech-language pathology and audiology students, a doctoral student, and four Speech-Language Pathologists. BLLING is a non-profit organization in CSD. Its aims are to: (a) conduct and discuss current research topics, (b) offer education on bilingual language and literacy issues, and (c) support the community through hosting family literacy nights and other events aimed at increasing awareness of bilingual and biliteracy issues. Drs. Maria Brea and Kyna Betancourt co-founded BLLING in 2014.