When it comes to protecting your hearing, it’s never too early to start. That’s why the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders’ (NIDCD), Washington, Noisy Planet campaign and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA’s) Listen to Your Buds campaign joined forces from May 24 to 28 to bring the hearing protection message to elementary and middle schoolers throughout the Washington Metro region. Staff members from the two organizations pooled their time and resources to reach out to kids as young as prekindergartners all the way up to the Justin Bieber crowd.

For younger audiences, ASHA sponsored safe-listening concerts in six elementary schools.  Through the imaginative and entertaining musical styles of folk singers Cathy and Marcy, DC hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon, and songwriter and percussionist Billy Jonas, students were taught how to listen to their personal music players safely, all while singing, dancing, clapping, and stomping to the beat. The concerts, which are held in collaboration with the Parents’ Choice Foundation and the Consumer Electronics Association, were presented at the following schools:

Sargent Shriver Elementary (Montgomery County, Md)
Patrick Henry Elementary (Arlington, Va)
Septima Clark Public Charter School (Washington)
Barnard Elementary (Washington)
Gaithersburg Elementary (Montgomery County, Md)
Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy (Alexandria City, Va)

For tween-aged audiences, NIDCD staff laced up their sneakers and loaded up their cars to deliver fun, science-based, hands-on presentations focusing on how loud noise affects hearing and how they can protect their hearing for life. So far, classrooms at Greenbelt and Samuel Ogle Middle Schools, Prince Georges County, Md, took part in the activities, with Thurgood Marshall Middle School (Temple Hills, Md) and Walker Mill Middle School (Capitol Heights, Md) receiving presentations in June.

All told, more than 2,000 children received the hearing protection message over the week, which was offered as part of Better Hearing and Speech Month. A link to an article and a video of one of the concerts can be found at the WUSA-TV, Channel 9, Web site.

[Source: NIDCD]