About the Grand Rapids Oral Deaf Program
The Grand Rapids Oral Deaf (GROD) program is committed to helping children who are deaf or hard of hearing develop spoken language and literacy through listening. Our mission is to enable children with hearing loss to gain the skills necessary to perform at the same level as their typical hearing peers using the auditory-verbal practices of teaching.
The program was established in 1899 and serves students with hearing loss within Kent County. GROD is a public school center-based program that focuses on education, guidance, advocacy, and support for families.
The program is located at Ken-O-Sha Elementary, a public school within the Grand Rapids Public School District. The program serves students from birth to 25 through a wide variety of services: early intervention with in-home visits, a classroom setting for preschool and elementary aged students with certified teachers for deaf and hard of hearing, and teacher consultants that support students in their home school districts.
Our longtime teachers and staff are dedicated to helping each child discover their unique potential - academically and socially. Our team of professionals works together to support your child and develop the appropriate educational plan to support each child's individual needs. We also have an onsite audiologist technician that helps students with their hearing technology and with the FM systems.
The appropriate assistive technology is necessary for children to be successful using the auditory-verbal approach. The appropriate use of hearing aids, cochlear implants, or other hearing devices at home and in the classroom provide the child the opportunity to hear in their environment. The use of a FM system is also very beneficial to students in the classroom setting. FM systems are used at Ken-O-Sha as well as distributed to the locations where our GROD students have returned to their home districts.
The GROD program recognizes that having a child with a hearing loss impacts the entire family. With the funding and planning support from the GROD PTO, the program organizes and sponsors support groups, family events, and continued education for parents.
The Grand Rapids Oral Deaf Program was selected as the National Alexander Graham Bell Association's (AGB) Program of the Year in 1979 and 1997.
About the GROD Parent Teacher Organization
The Grand Rapids Oral Deaf PTO is a non-profit, 501c3 organization. Our organization is run by dedicated parents of children that are a part of the GROD program.
The GROD PTO provides the extra funding necessary to run a successful schooling program for our students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Examples of items that the PTO provides funding for are audiological equipment, Kindermusik services for the preschool programs, specialized training for staff, and multiple GROD family events. Family events include an ice cream social, a gingerbread house decorating party, a carnival, and an end of the year family picnic.
The GROD PTO has an annual golf outing and raffle fundraiser. Many area businesses sponsor the event or donate items to be included in the raffle. We also have many generous area families that have been impacted by the Grand Rapids Oral Deaf Program and they continue to financially support our mission and annual event. Check out the supporters page to see our 2018 event sponsors.
42 students are currently attending the center program.
About 100 students are receiving services in their resident districts.
“We cannot express enough our love for the GROD program. The welcoming support and the reassurance that has been given to our family will never be forgotten.”
- parent quote