In our previous blog, Giving Tuesday – A Reason to Give, we were asking for donations in honor of Giving Tuesday. We wanted to show you just what you're giving to when you choose to donate to the Cherokee County Educational Foundation. Your contributions make a difference in children's lives as they navigate their education. Not every journey is the same, and some students have to get creative to consume information in a way that will be truly beneficial.
It's often easy to overlook disabilities when they're not visible, however, this IMPACT grant recipient wanted to step in and make a difference in the lives of those that may have some extra difficulties such as:
Learning English as a second language
Fluctuating hearing loss due to middle ear fluid
ADD or ADHD
Auditory Processing Disorders
Unidentified minimal or mild hearing losses
Unilateral hearing loss (one ear)
Imagine trying to learn in a classroom when you can't fully hear or process the information you've been given. Hearing is necessary for us to learn, speak, understand language, and even to read. We know that impaired hearing is a barrier to these things. Some students can hear normally but aren't able to listen and adequately receive the spoken information due to a noisy classroom. Classrooms are already noisy places and become even more difficult to operate in when hearing is an issue.
This grant recipient received funds to purchase two systems: Qball and AVerMedia. Qball is a wireless microphone ball wrapped in foam which can be tossed around the classroom and spoken into. Much like a talking stick, this encourages students to get involved if they want to catch the ball! This amplifies the student's voice, thus helping the quiet students have their voices heard, and helping others hear what's going on in the classroom. The second system this grant recipient received was AVerMedia. This prevents teachers from yelling in the classroom and helps students be able to hear what's important despite the ambient noise.
The recipient of this grant stated, "If you were to visit one of our classrooms that are utilizing these systems, you would see a room of students that are engaged and attentive without the distraction of ambient noises. When the teacher first turns on the microphone, many students will exclaim 'WOW'. It's very exciting to witness this reaction and the positive feedback our teachers utilizing these systems give us."
Everyone in the classroom is benefited by these systems. Not only do students see benefits, but teachers are able to reduce vocal strain by using the wireless microphones. These systems help students learn, but they also show that even if you struggle, there are ways to adjust. Sometimes it takes some creativity and access to technology to open a whole new world that doesn't let disabilities define your learning experience. It's a tough world, but if there's a will there's a way – and this school certainly made a way for their students by making the classroom more inclusive.
For those that have donated, this is just one thing that you provided for the students of Cherokee County. Your kindness doesn't go unnoticed and we are forever grateful for your contributions and for making grants like this become a reality.