Grant Program To Award $120,000 in Classroom Amplification Systems

Calypso Systems reported this week that it will award more than $120,000 in classroom amplification equipment to K-12 schools through its Be Heard School Grant program. The technologies are designed to distribute a teacher's voice evenly throughout a classroom to provide a more equal learning experience to students, regardless of their location in the room.

The application period for this year's program is currently open. The company said it will choose three schools from among all qualified applicants to receive school-wide classroom voice amplification systems. With an emphasis on the importance of hearing and being heard in the classroom, the company began the Be Heard program in 2009. Calypso received more than 200 applications in last year's grant process and awarded approximately $120,000 in voice amplification equipment to schools in three states.

The 2009 grant winners were Lawrence Central High School of Indianapolis; Holly Grove Elementary of Holly Springs, NC; and McWhirter Elementary of Webster, TX. Holly Grove technology specialist Margaret Knox-Ingle, whose son suffered from undiagnosed hearing loss as a child, strongly advocates sound amplification as critical to improving education.

David H. Parish, president of Calypso Systems, said he believes the technology can be transformative. "Classroom voice amplification is perhaps the simplest and most cost-efficient way to improve teaching and learning, and we are proud to continue the Be Heard School Grant program again in 2010."

According to Parish, amplification technologies are in use in more than 300,000 classrooms already in the United States.

Since receiving the equipment last year, she said, "our teachers have reported more attentive listening and eager participation in the classroom." Drawing on personal experience, she added, "My son missed many opportunities in his elementary classroom because he simply couldn't hear the teacher. Early literacy is crucial for developing confident students, and I believe if his school had invested in an amplification system, we would have endured far fewer struggles while teaching him to read."

For this year's program, applications must be submitted by April 30. Winners of the 2010 grant will be announced May 18. Further information and complete application materials can be found here.

About the Author

Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.