miracle-ear foundation outreach helps promote hearing health

Hearing Awareness Outreach: Miracle-Ear Foundation Hosts School Programs

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“Teaching children and young adults about their hearing and safe noise levels is so important,” says Miracle-Ear® franchise owner Joyce Hill-Cooley, R.N. in Missouri. “We use our life-sized mannequin to help students understand how to prevent hearing loss.”

Joyce in partnership with the Miracle-Ear Foundation® donates her time visiting various elementary, middle, and high schools in the Cape Girardeau and Jackson area to teach kids to respect their ears and avoid damage.

At the elementary schools, the Miracle-Ear employees focus on teaching children how the ear works through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

For older elementary school children and middle school students, Joyce uses a life-sized mannequin, who is named Jolene. 

Jolene, our hearing mannequin, makes better hearing fun. She determines the safe hearing levels of various electronics and appliances such as iPods and hair dryers.

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“We have the children put one ear bud of an iPod in their ear and the other ear bud in Jolene’s ear,” says Joyce. “Then, we have them turn up the music to the level that they would normally listen to it. Jolene tells them how long it will be before their listening level will cause hearing damage.”

Joyce also uses Know Noise, a video that educates children on hearing protection and the functions of different parts of the ear.

At the high school level, the students use sound level meters to measure the noise levels in various parts of their building. They typically visit their gym, a lunchroom, a band or choir class, and a lecture-style class such as History or English. “The results surprise students,” says Joyce. She also teaches students how to properly use hearing protection and why it’s just not cool to damage your ears.

To date, Joyce and other Miracle-Ear employees have taught hundreds of students at North Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, the Jackson Middle School Health Fair, Jackson High School, and Deer Creek Christian Academy.