Student Learning Amplified by Sertoma in Nebraska Elementary School

Norwood Park Elementary School Principal, Pam Hale (right) shares the excitement of improved school communication with mother Suzanne Christian (left) and her children (students) Corinn Harris (left) and Christian Harris (right), thanks to a generous donation from the Lincoln Northeast Sertoma Club.

March 4, 2016

Roaring bulldozers, thundering drills and sounds of noisy construction filled the halls in a small and busy elementary school located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The 252 students attending Norwood Park Elementary School were placed in a difficult position. Although construction was temporary, students were unable to communicate effectively with their teachers due to the distracting environment. With no sufficient outlet or source of communication to help overcome the construction noise, both students and teachers struggled to hear and learn in the classroom.

The Lincoln Northeast Sertoma Club of Lincoln, Nebraska, quickly began to realize the severity of this problem and without hesitation became the solution. By providing a donation of $11,000, the elementary school was able to purchase a “Redcat” sound system to assist staff and students.

A Redcat system uses exciter technology to apply sound energy directly to a sound panel, which in return radiates sound waves throughout the entirety of a classroom, regardless of size.

The teachers wear lanyards with microphones around their necks, and a small box nearby evenly distributes their voices throughout the room. Students are then able to respond to questions with a hand-held microphone. No matter where a student sits, every child is able to hear everything with enhanced clarity, because the system counteracts excess noise by creating a cloud of sound.

Christian Harris, a fourth grader at Norwood Park Elementary School, said that the new system allows him to do more in class. His second grade sister Corinn Harris also agreed, and added that it is much easier to concentrate.

The Lincoln Northeast Sertoma Club has long identified with this elementary school because of its close location within the community.

Jim Becker, the project leader, said he was extremely excited to be involved in the process.

“This project was a good fit for everyone,” Becker said. “It involved Sertoma’s mission. We were able to emphasize hearing health and improve education.”

Pam Hale, the principal at Norwood Park Elementary School, said she was incredibly thankful for the amazing gift that Sertoma provided.

“Hearing is essential to learning,” Hale said.  “This system ensures that all of our students have better access on a continual basis to hear crucial instruction, which in return will support their learning.”

All 252 students at the elementary school will now have access to the Redcat system, which has been installed in each classroom. Students and teachers will now be able to communicate at the highest quality possible, thanks to the donation of Sertoma.

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