The foundation's mission is to support the identification, evaluation, therapeutic intervention and education of hearing impaired and communication impaired infants, toddlers and children.
Today, our organization focuses on raising critical funds for Lake Drive's Sound Start Program, which offers the most comprehensive, intensive and highest quality early intervention services for infants and toddlers with hearing loss in New Jersey.
New Jersey does not have guidelines or adequate funding to insure that infants who are deaf and hard of hearing receive early intervention services by appropriately qualified professionals in comprehensive programs that meet the standards set by the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH) 2007. Sound Start meets and exceeds those standards. However state funding and family cost shares cover only one third of Sound Start’s services. Only through the support of The Lake Drive Foundation can Sound Start provide the comprehensive, intensive therapies required for optimal speech and language outcomes. Through grants, events and donations, our foundation is committed to raising the necessary funding to ensure infants and toddlers have access to the highest quality intervention services, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.
In Sound Start, a multidisciplinary team of specialists provide parent education and support, individual therapies in the home, small group classes for babies and caregivers, and an intensive full day inclusive nursery program where toddlers with hearing loss and hearing peers develop speech and language skills together. At age three, Sound Start toddlers graduate ready for preschool in their home communities or continue at The Lake Drive Programs for Children Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing where they benefit from inclusion opportunities within the highly competitive Mountain Lakes school district.
Lake Drive students attend the highly competitive Mountain Lakes High School, ranked 7th best public high school in NJ. While New Jersey's high school dropout rate is 17%, and the national average for students with hearing loss who do not receive high school diplomas is 50%, Lake Drive's graduation rate is 100%.
Since 1969, The Sound Start Program has helped more than 1,000 children from northern and central New Jersey achieve emotional, social, and academic success leading to financial independence and a higher quality of life.