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January 19, 2004

Sertoma Club donates audio system for students

From: Fairmont Sentinel, MN - Jan 19, 2004


Associated Press Writer

FAIRMONT -- The Fairmont Sertoma Club is helping students with hearing problems through its donation of an audio enhancement system.

The club raised funds to buy a "Deluxe Pal" audio enhancement system for the Southern Plains Education Cooperative. Club funds and a grant the club secured from Sertoma International paid for the purchase of the $1,100 system, according to club president Joyce Hillmer.

A microphone is worn by the teacher during instruction and an audio amplification box in the middle of the classroom enhances the volume of the teacher's voice.

"The Deluxe Pal is state of the art technology that improves classroom amplification and improves learning capabilities," said Chery Brumbaugh, director of special services for the Southern Plains Education Cooperative. "The Deluxe Pal is a portable unit that enables teachers to move the unit from room to room, or school to school.

"These devices are used for deaf and hard of hearing students across the country," Hillmer said. "Studies show that amplification also improves reading, spelling and other learning areas.

"Making classrooms conducive to auditory learning benefits individuals and whole classrooms of students," Hillmer noted.

"The project objective is to identify and address the needs of the most vulnerable children in need of sound amplification," Brumbaugh said.

"The expected outcome of this project is that this initiative by the Sertoma Club will spark other donations and service clubs to support for need for vulnerable children to be in a learning environment that enhances the chance for success with the use of sound amplification," Brumbaugh said.

"The audio enhancement system placement in classrooms by a service club is a first-time occurrence in these communities," Brumbaugh said.

The cooperative serves eight hearing-impaired students and 158 speech/language students.

The cooperative serves the school districts of: Fairmont Area Schools, Martin County West, Truman, Granada-Huntley-East Chain and Blue Earth Area.

© 2004 Fairmont Sentinel