New Speech and Language Program

Sister Kara Davis Developing New Speech and Language Program

Connecting Communities | May 31, 2018

Many children ages 3-5 need speech-language services, but do not qualify under Chicago Public School (CPS) standards of eligibility. During the past year at MSV, roughly only 15 children in the Pre-K programs received regular speech-language services through partnerships with Northwestern University and St. Anthony’s Hospital. Several children were left on a long waiting list or rejected for therapy due to insurance requirements. To address this critical gap in services, we are excited to announce the development of a new Speech and Language Program at MSV, led by Sister Kara Davis. Sister Kara will provide expanded access to these services, vital to early childhood development.

About Sister Kara


Sister Kara is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and a Daughter of Charity. She completed her education at Eastern Illinois University with a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences in 2014. Upon graduation, she moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to complete her Clinical Fellowship Year and obtain a Certificate of Clinical Competence through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In 2016, she entered the Daughters of Charity and began the intensive 20-month period of initial formation in St. Louis. During this time she took a break from the professional world to focus on deepening her spiritual life and learning more about various aspects of the Daughters of Charity. In April of this year, Sister Kara was sent on mission to Chicago to serve at MSV and re-enter the field of speech therapy.

About the Program

The new Speech and Language Program involves a complex system of services starting with referrals from our on-staff Family Support Specialists, a process of screenings and evaluations, individualized therapy plans, continuity of Early Intervention services which end when a child turns 3, classroom interventions, parent education, and a comprehensive support plan for the children as they transition into kindergarten. These specialized services provide the most comprehensive programming of its kind in our 104-year history.

“It is a blessing to be able to integrate my professional training with our Vincentian mission to serve those living in poverty."

- Sister Kara Davis

Sister Kara added, "I am looking forward to providing access to services that our children would otherwise do without because of where they live or what kind of insurance they have. Preschool is a critical time to develop these speech and language skills, and we hope to ensure that all children have the resources and supports they need to maximize their potential.”

“We are thrilled to have Sister Kara at MSV,” said Chief Operations Officer, Maureen Hallagan. “We believe she will help us fill a crucial gap that our children experience in their learning and I’m eager to see the program take off.”

Learn More

While still in the development phase, Sister Kara is laying the groundwork to launch the new Speech and Language Program at both Marillac Social Center and St. Vincent de Paul Center at the start of the 2018 school year this September. To learn more or find out how you can help, email with the subject line “Speech Therapy”.

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  • Foglia Family & Youth Center
    2859 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Marillac Social Center
    212 S. Francisco Ave. Chicago, IL 60612
  • St. Vincent de Paul Center
    2145 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614