Moultrie Observer

Local News

January 17, 2013

Colquitt Regional joins forces with Cox, Stringfellow schools

MOULTRIE — Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s Speech Pathology Department is teaming up with Cox Elementary School and Stringfellow Elementary School to enhance their use of the educational program Fast ForWord. Both schools implemented this program a couple of years ago but due to reduced funding, they have had difficulty maintaining it effectively.

Fast ForWord is a web-based educational software that serves as a resource for struggling readers and is backed with more than 30 years of brain research. The program speeds up the learning process for students of different ages and abilities for those working at, above or below grade level by applying proven research on how the brain learns.

In September, Colquitt Regional Medical Center established a Brain Fitness & Learning Center within its Speech Pathology Department and is also using the Fast ForWord educational program. Since its development, clients have shown much success, a hospital spokeswoman said.  Parents are reporting a noticeable increase in their child’s attention span within the first two weeks of participating and overall seeing an average of the child improving up to two reading levels.

Now through the initiation of School Superintendent Samuel DePaul, Assistant School Superintendent Mo Yearta, Colquitt Regional is joining forces with the school system to assist in revamping and maintaining the program on site to students in Cox and Stringfellow schools.

Colquitt Regional provided a training session on Jan 3 by Deborah Pollock, scientific learning trainer. Several teachers from Cox and Stringfellow elementary schools voluntarily participated to train and understand the scientific research behind the exercises. Several doorprizes were given, including an iPad.

In addition, Colquitt Regional’s Gracie Qurnell, SciLearn coach and manager in the Speech Pathology Department, will work with Cox and Stringfellow on a daily basis to assist with the program for a period of time. Qurnell’s role in the schools will be to train teachers and assist students in engaging with the program. She will also provide intervention strategies when student’s challenges are identified.

Renee Crosby, director of speech pathology at Colquitt Regional, became a trained SciLearn provider for her son who was struggling in school. “I have witnessed the positive results of this wonderful product as a mother and a professional,” Crosby said.

Matney also has a personal connection with the program.

“As a parent of a child with hearing problems, I have seen firsthand how this revolutionary product can change the lives of students struggling with reading and learning skills,” he said. “My child is reading more fluently and has demonstrated improved writing skills.”

Crosby noted the Fast ForWord program can be teacher’s best friend in the classroom in accelerating a child’s learning abilities.

“Our hope is to make a difference in these elementary schools and to provide other K-12 students the resources to strengthen their cognitive skills and become an overall better reader and learner,” Matney said.

“Thanks to the support of Colquitt Regional, Cox and Stringfellow schools will be able to once again provide the learning support to students who struggle to read,” said Yearta.

Those interested in learning more about the Brain Fitness & Learning Center should contact Director, Renee Crosby at or 229-891-9323 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center.


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