Orangevale educator receives national honor
Orangevale resident Dr. Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin displays the American Speech and Hearing Association plaque honoring her career for distinguished contribution to the discipline of Communication Sciences and Disorders awarded for 2020. Photo provided by Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin
ORANGEVALE, CA (MPG) - Members of the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA), a professional association of speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists will formally honor Orangevale resident Dr. Celeste Roseberry-McKibbin in person with their highest “Honors of the Association” at their national convention in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18-20.
When the 2020 ASHA national convention was cancelled due to Covid-19, the formal presentation of a commemorative plaque to Roseberry-McKibbin by the ASHA membership was deferred to 2021.
Roseberry-McKibbin received ASHA’s honor in 2020 by mail for her over 40 years of work in the professional field of speech pathology. The honor recognizes her “distinguished contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.”
“Seven people were selected from North America, and I was blessed to represent the State of California,” Roseberry-McKibbin said, photographed standing by the plaque in her home.
The honor also recognizes her contributions in service delivery to English learners with special education needs and in delivery to at-risk children experiencing poverty.
In addition, she was recognized by ASHA for her Love Talk Read book drive initiative, started 11 years ago, which has collected and donated over one quarter of a million books to at-risk children in the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world.
Dr. Roseberry-McKibbin is a professor of communication sciences and disorders at California State University, Sacramento. Her husband, Michael McKibbin, Ed.D, is vice president of the board of education of the San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael. Their son, Mark, attended Casa Roble High School.
Their son Mark was diagnosed with dyslexia and other written language problems early in life.
“I saw firsthand the heartbreak and pain for a child who could not read and write. Thanks to some years of therapy and lots of reading at home, Mark is now a successful young adult who has a bright future,” she said.
Roseberry-McKibbin continues to work as a part-time itinerant speech-language pathologist in San Juan Unified School District where she provides direct services to preschool, elementary and high school students.
“The demographics of the San Juan Unified School District began to change in 2012 with a growing influx of English as a Second Language (ESL) student learners. Our classrooms are a much more diverse multi-cultural learning environment than ever before,” she said.
“We’re also seeing more and more ESL students on the autistic learning spectrum who need reading support,” she said.
She said she is encouraged by the San Juan Unified School District’s response to the challenge and classroom teachers who are helping to instill a love for reading in their students and up to grade level.
“I was born in Southern California and raised in the Philippines from ages 6-17 years,” she said. “My parents were Baptist missionaries. Early in life, my family and I lived in poverty. Despite this, my mother always found time to read with my sisters and me,” Roseberry-McKibbins said. “Mom had also taught Sunday school and had also started a children’s library in the Philippines,” she recalled.
“As a practicing speech-language pathologist and university professor, I began collecting children’s books. When my mother Beverly Wilson Roseberry passed away, I continued collecting children’s books in honor of her memory,” she explained.
In the pandemic, a time when many local teachers retired or left the profession, Roseberry-McKibbin eagerly welcomes the donation of used children’s books in all languages which are in good condition to give to young readers who are eager to discover them.
“Through Love Talk Read, we collect new and gently used children’s books to give to under-resourced children throughout California and in countries such as Russia, Philippines, Mexico, China, Ukraine, El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Australia, South Africa, Micronesia (the island of Kosrae) Samoa, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Ecuador,” she said.
“Statistics indicate that the average middle-class child has 13 or more books in the home; in some under-resourced communities, there is one book for every 300 children,” she said.
Roseberry-McKibbin encourages others through her Love Talk Read initiative to start book drives in their own communities to reach often underserved preschool, elementary and high school students at risk.
“I’m greatly honored to receive the national ASHA award, but there’s so much more work that needs to be done to help all our students succeed and develop a life-long love of reading,” she said. “And I’m still just as passionate about helping children as I was when I started in the profession some 40 years ago.”
Roseberry-McKibbin is the author of “Love Talk Read to Help Your Child Succeed”, which is available for sale on Amazon.com. To either contact or learn more about Roseberry-McKibbin’s Love Talk Read program, or to donate children’s books, visit her website at lovetalkread.com.