We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Alexander, CCC-SLP and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cathy, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Well I have been a speech language pathologist (SLP) for over 20+ years. One of the big professional catalogues that SLPs use is Super Duper Publications, Inc. In 1998 this publishing company was advertising for authors for new material. I submitted my idea and they accepted it in 1999. My idea became a reality – WH Question Blast Off – a WH question (what, where, when, and why questions) educational game. w It has been a Best Seller for over 20 years. So, that basically started my idea of self-publishing. After that game I published a book “Classroom Articulation for R, S, and L which incorporated grade-level vocabulary and articulation.
While writing this book I did an enormous amount of research evaluating grade-level vocabulary. It took approximately 6 months to rigorously evaluate the grade-level vocabulary. This research led to my business today. I have spoken at the National American Speech-Hearing Association conferences for several years as well as school districts around the United States. I have also been fortunate enough to speak internationally as well.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started Kids Vocabulary about 8 years ago. I was beginning to conduct training for continuing education hours for SLPs across the United States and I thought it was time to develop a business. It was not easy, I had to develop a website and market my skills. Marketing and creating a website were new to me and definitely challenging. My strength laid in educating SLPs, teachers, and reading specialists. I absolutely love the interaction of giving workshops. I get so many excellent ideas from my peers. We brain storm ways to teach vocabulary and at the end I always learn as well! Unfortunately, teaching vocabulary is not simple. We use a wide variety of techniques and pick and choose depending upon the child or classroom. All of these techniques are evidence-based and I have spent countless hours reading quality research. Today, due to COVID 19, I conduct workshops via zoom. I miss the face to face interaction but it reaches so many teachers, SLPs, and reading specialists. I can give a workshop in Florida and the next day in California. Vocabulary is essential for reading comprehension. I love making a difference in the world!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely come during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo event. It is in March, which is usually perfect weather. It is so much more than a rodeo (which by the way I do love!). The concerts include some of the biggest names in country, pop, rock and hip hop! In 2022 George Straight will be performing (OK George Straight is a legend around here!). Definitely take them to Tex-Mex restaurants – the best in the World! Our BBQ is just as good as our Tex Mex! Margaritas around here are delicious!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My school district – Fort Bend Independent School District (Ft. Bend ISD) was instrumental in supporting me through my journey. My husband and children were very patient and supportive through the long process of writing educational books.
Linkedin: Cathy Alexander