Apply Feb. 8 – Apr. 30 to win one of three school-wide classroom voice amplification systems courtesy of the Calypso School First Foundation

Calypso Systems, a leading developer of multimedia technology solutions for K-12 classrooms, announced its call for entries in the 2010 Be Heard School Grant program, which awards three K-12 institutions school-wide classroom voice amplification systems.

Recognizing the importance of hearing and being heard in the classroom, the Be Heard School Grant program was established last year by the Calypso School First Foundation (CSFF).

In its inaugural year, the Be Heard School Grant program awarded more than $120,000 worth of classroom voice amplification equipment to schools in three states. With school budgets tightening and classroom audio needs still underserved in a majority of districts, Calypso will again equip up to 35 classrooms in three K-12 institutions with voice amplification systems.

“After receiving more than 200 applications for last year’s grant, we were even more convinced of the need for this integrated, transformative technology in the classroom,” said David H. Parish, Ph.D., president of Calypso Systems. “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.”

A growing portfolio of independent research supports the performance improvements in classrooms where voice amplification systems are used, including improved attention, increased motivation and fewer special education referrals.

As a former university professor, Parish developed the Be Heard School Grant program specifically to “level the playing field” across all types of schools and student populations when it comes to classroom amplification and acoustics.

“There are many academic studies showing the effectiveness of classroom voice amplification, most notably the Mainstream Amplifications Resource Room Study (MARRS) that began in 1979 and continued in various forms through 1994,” Parish said. “Even among last year’s Be Heard winners, we have witnessed the benefits of classroom amplification first-hand in the form of better student engagement and improved teacher-student communication. We want educators across the country to be able to realize that type of success in their own classrooms.”

Past Winners Praise Grant Program
Last year’s Be Heard School Grant winners – Lawrence Central High School (Indianapolis), Holly Grove Elementary School (Holly Springs, N.C.) and McWhirter Elementary (Webster, Texas) – praised the program for improving communication between teachers and students.

“Since receiving the Be Heard School Grant last year, our teachers have reported more attentive listening and eager participation in the classroom,” said Margaret Knox-Ingle, technology specialist for Holly Grove Elementary School. “I believe sound systems should be standard equipment in all K-12 classroom settings.”

Knox-Ingle also had a personal stake in classroom amplification – her teenaged son suffered from undiagnosed hearing loss while in elementary school.

“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.”

Applications will be accepted between Feb. 8 and Apr. 30, 2010, with winners announced May 18, 2010. For more information about the Calypso School First Foundation and to apply on-line for the Be Heard School Grant, please visit http://www.calypsosystems.com/grant-apps.

About Calypso Systems
Calypso Systems, headquartered in Woodbury, MN, is a manufacturer of a full range of open architecture control, user interface, audio, microphone and connectivity products designed to create integrated classroom solutions for teachers, students and administrators. Calypso products are sold exclusively through commercial audio-video electronics dealers throughout North America and around the world.

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