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Friday, February 4, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate.

Imagine having your fingers wrapped around a mug with it's warmth spreading through the hard ceramic to you chilly hands.

Imagine seeing the most delicious shade of brown in your hands with softly drifting steam rising forth.

Imagine that most heavenly of scents, chocolate, filling your nostrils.

Just imagine.....Mmm, doesn't that sound good?

I was just sitting here feeling chilly and thought about fixing some hot chocolate, which brought to mind memories of making hot chocolate one year for all my speech kids and thought I'd share a personal story with you. Who knows, it might even prompt you to try it with your kids.

My last 13 years of work as an SLP was in a poverty-stricken school. Not only was the socio-economic level at poverty, it was culturally impoverished as well, due to its geographic location. In other words, it was a small school, up a holler, in eastern KY. The children had little exposure to the simplist joys that my child or yours take for granted. I'm not talking the big things like vacations, trips to museums, going to the movies, concerts, etc. I'm talking little things like, going to the mall, Rootbeer floats, homemade breads, making cookies together, etc. For these kids going to WalMart was a big outing.

To have something to look forward to, during the long cold month of January, one year I had my speech kids decorate our speech room door with paper toboggans, mittens, ice skates, sleds, and mugs of cocoa....all things cold and wintry. The culminating event was Hot Chocolate and Sugar Cookies!

I must insert here that without the assistance of the head cook at our school this might not have become a reality. Luckily for me she was the grandmother of one of my speech kids. Health department regulations do not permit "non-card carrying food handlers" in the school cafeterias, so that's why I say without the assistance of the head cook I could not have pulled this off. I took in the ingredients to make enough hot chocolate for all 60+ kids plus homemade sugar cookies for all. I also supplied cups and napkins because schools usually don't like you using items from the cafeteria.

The cook prepared the hot chocolate and I got the cups, napkins, and cookies ready. I had the school secretary make the announcement for all of Mrs. Trout's students to come to the cafeteria. They came running! The rule of no running in the halls goes out the window when you're heading for hot chocolate!

I don't think there was one child who did not thank me and the sheer joy on their faces was indescribable and need I say memorable. I'm sure their previous expose to hot cocoa came from a paper pouch, so they were amazed at how incredible real hot chocolate tastes. Obviously this event was the best thematic or conversational prompt for therapy that month.

Thanks for listening to me reminisce. Now how about some hot chocolate!!


  1. What a touching story! It is a reminder that we can enrich our students' lives in many ways.

  2. I learned through the years that sometimes kids need more than that which is written into an IEP...sometimes they just need to feel loved.