How many times have you been asked the question, “Are you listening?” It was almost a fixture in most of our childhoods, but it has somehow managed to follow us into our adult lives. The question of listening is justifiable, though, as the process of to hearing, perceiving, and interpreting sound is the absolute most important and valuable tool for language and learning. Verbal directions are a part of everyday life for both adults and children, and appropriate behavior, social interaction, and academic success all stem from the ability listen to, give out, and carry out verbal directions. MACS teachers Ms. Little and Ms. Horton of St. Ann’s recognized this, and in 2013, applied for a $6,000 Grant for Educational Excellence for a program to enhance their students’ ability to listen: HearBuilder.
Right away, the MACS Education Fund recognized this as a project worth pursuing and supporting. The program is described by Celene Little as being
“a tool to asses the children’s auditory skills and identify what areas to work on so we can start fixing the issues early.”
It is compiled of a series of educational programs designed not only to help improve listening skills, but also memory skills. While improvement because of programs such as HearBuilder is often hard to chart,
“the program graph[s] the child’s progress so we can show the parents how their child is performing.”
Futhermore, it enables the child with tricks and strategies to improve the skills already being built on.
While the students are excited to learn on a computer rather than from a book (just ask nine year-old Ella, who would rather play games instead of read), the teachers are thrilled with the difference the program has made within their classrooms. Lisa Horton, a technology coordinator, says that investing in HearBuilder was the “best $6,000 I ever spent. It’s made a huge difference!”
Of course, integrating programs such as HearBuilder would be impossible without your donations. In the past 22 years, the MACS Education Fund has raised almost $7,000,000 for grants funding programs spanning over academic enhancement, technology, cultural enrichment, professional development, and Catholic identity. The ability to give to such an important area of education came from people like you who donated to the Annual Giving Campaign, which gave programs like HearBuilder a solid foundation to make a difference in the lives our children. Every single child, including yours, has benefitted from the money that the MACS Education Fund has raised. This could not be achieved without your help.