Grants available for classroom amplification

Grants available for classroom amplification

With the Calypso School First Foundation's 2010 Be Heard | School Grant initiative in full swing, one of last year's grant winners shared how classroom amplification transformed a 1950s-era elementary school into a 21st century learning center.

Rod Dunklee, technology integration specialist for McWhirter Elementary School in Webster, Tex., is a 2009 Be Heard | School Grant winner.

"Before applying for the grant, we struggled with helping our students hear better in class," Dunklee said. "We always knew multimedia learning would make a tremendous impact on student attentiveness and class participation, but we soon realized that the visual media presence alone wasn't enough - we also needed sound."

Located in Webster, Tex., McWhirter Elementary is a bilingual school with more than 850 students, 15 percent of whom are involved in the school's English-Spanish immersion program and 10 percent of whom are special needs students. The teachers' ability to model precise sounds, patterns and pronunciation is crucial to effective learning at McWhirter Elementary.

Calypso Systems WCM-RF classroom voice amplification systems were installed in thirty-five classrooms in November 2009. Dunklee says both teachers and students have been pleased with the results.

"Recently, one of our kindergarten teachers told me her students always remind her to put on a microphone before beginning a lesson. She felt relieved that she no longer had to use her 'teacher voice' every second - during story time, for example, she could use her entire range of communicative emotions instead of struggling to project her voice."

Applications for the 2010 Be Heard | School Grant are being accepted until April 30, 2010. For more information or to apply online, visit