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Sertoma program tests students' hearing; volunteers needed

Malachi Miller, 4, sneaks a peek at the equipment as he waits for the beep while having his hearing tested recently at Quail Hollow Elementary School.

MICHELE MILLER | Times

Malachi Miller, 4, sneaks a peek at the equipment as he waits for the beep while having his hearing tested recently at Quail Hollow Elementary School.

WESLEY CHAPEL

Sallie Auld is placing earphones over some tender ears as she again helps test children's hearing in schools throughout Pasco County.

The volunteer stint with the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation is one she adores, one she has been doing for four years now.

"I love it," said Ms. Auld, 72, in between testing 4-year-old students in the Head Start program at Quail Hollow Elementary. "I just love working with the children, and it makes me so happy when they can hear."

Of course, children this age sometimes need a little coaxing, but a colorful sticker often helps. And they don't always understand the instructions to "raise your hand when you hear the beep."

Not a problem, according to Ms. Auld, who has volunteered in the schools ever since her now-adult children were elementary students in Miami.

"You just watch their eyes," she said. "They may not raise their hands, but you know they hear it when their eyes light up."

>> More volunteers are needed to conduct hearing screenings at remaining schools. To help, call (727) 834-5479 or toll-free at 1-866-999-2443.

Fast facts

• The Sertoma Speech and Hearing Foundation has been providing screenings in Pasco County schools for 13 years.

• During the 2009-2010 school year, Sertoma screened more than 10,900 kindergarten, first- and sixth-grade students in 49 schools.

• Of those screened, 502 were referred for further testing.

• In 2009-2010, 70 volunteers logged 757 hours with hearing screenings.

• This year, in addition to screening kindergarten, first- and sixth-grade students, Sertoma is providing hearing screenings at 20 of the Head Start programs throughout Pasco County schools.

• In 2010-2011 Sertoma expects to screen more than 11,500 children in about 70 locations.

• Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company, has provided grants to underwrite the screenings for the past five years and encourages its employees to volunteer with the hearing screenings.

Sertoma program tests students' hearing; volunteers needed 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 3:33pm]
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