The Volunteer Cheer: February 2019

The Volunteer Cheer: February 2019
Posted on 02/25/2019
The Volunteer CheerIt started with a question to a teacher. “Is there anything on your wish list I can help with?” asked CCISD parent, Marc Elliott of his son’s teacher during open house. What has since transpired is Elliott taking her request and running with it in a way not even he would have foreseen.

The teacher’s answer was that her class never seemed to have enough whisper phones, which is an auditory feedback device made of plastic pipe pieces with a 90 degree elbow at each end. The whisper phone allows a child to speak softly into it while listening to the clarity and rhythm of his or her own voice and words. This instant feedback encourages the child to make any necessary adjustments to their fluency or pronunciation as they speak.

Elliot looked at the device and deducted that it would not be difficult to make. There are commercial, more expensive, whisper phone products on the market but Elliott offered to make a classroom set for an economical solution. “You would have thought I dropped off a box of gold,” said Elliott recounting the excitement of the teacher the day he delivered 25 whisper phones. “It seems like a little thing but sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference.”

To inspire others to look for big and little ways to serve the teaching community, Elliott posted the whisper phone story on social media. The post received more than 63,000 likes and 12,000 comments including requests from people all over the world asking how to make a whisper phone.

Requests started coming in from other schools and teachers and so far, Elliott has made hundreds of whisper phones for Ed White, Hyde, Ross, Ferguson, Hall and Clear Lake City elementary schools. With a little help from discounts through Home Depot, Elliot has been self-funding the purchase of the supplies, as this has become his grassroots passion project.

“Our teachers work so hard to teach our kids every day,” said Elliott. “Looking for little things to help them along the way is really the least we can do.”

If you are interested in the whisper phones, or learning how to make a whisper phone for your child or classroom, contact Marc Elliott at whisperphoneguy@gmail.com.
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