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Safe Sound For Kids – And The Teachers

MEDIA RELEASE

Safe Sound For Kids – And The Teachers

Auckland, March 31 –

Have you ever walked away from a group of children hard at play, with ringing ears and a cacophony of sounds swirling around you? Well, for many early childhood teachers, this is their work day reality.

However, during Hearing Week, for 553 kindergartens and early childhood centres across New Zealand, The National Foundation for the Deaf is coming to their hearing rescue by donating 553 Safe Sound Indicators (SSI) to them.

The SSI, which works on the traffic like model, with green, amber and red lights, was developed from a concept from Jamie Fenton, 2011 Young New Zealander of the Year, when she was ten years old.

As on the road, the red traffic light means stop because it is dangerous to proceed, so the SSI red light means stop the noise as it’s in the danger zone for causing hearing loss.

“The indicators show pre-schoolers when it is getting too noisy and it is time to quieten down. We trialled prototypes last year and the effect on noise levels was so dramatic some teachers wanted to keep them!” Chief Executive Louise Carroll said today.

Mrs Carroll said that for many teachers, the indicators were coming just in time with winter around the corner and children will be spending more time inside. “When the kiddies are inside, the noise levels can hit the roof – literally,” Mrs Carroll said.

“When our team calls to offer early childhood centres a donated SSI, teachers are thrilled to have such an effective visible tool for showing the children the level of noise they are making. We also found in the trials that reduced noise made the children less tired, and cut the stress for the teachers as well.”

These donations of the SSIs, which usually retail at $292.50, has been made possible by grants from the ASB Community Trust; the Lion Foundation and various others including the Harvey Weir Charitable Trust, Mana Community Grants Foundation, W Duncan Bickley Trust, Auckland City Council, and the Margaret and Huia Clarke Trust Fund.

Footnote: Last week, the SSI was trialled in Parliament and it was interesting to note that our Prime Minister John Key regularly hit the red light...

Ends

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