(Rockville, MD - June 16, 2009) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has received an Award of Excellence from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) & The Center for Association Leadership for its "Listen To Your Buds" public education campaign which teaches very young children to practice safe listening habits when using personal audio technology.
ASHA's "Buds" campaign features a concert series; a national coalition of Parents' Choice Foundation award-winning musicians who specialize in children's music; and an interactive bilingual Web site with educational games for kids and resources for parents and teachers.
The Buds campaign is now in the running to receive ASAE's Summit Award, the highest honor awarded by that organization for associations that implement innovative community-based programs.
The Buds concert series is presented in collaboration with The Parents' Choice Foundation and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Thousands of local first- and second-graders have attended concerts in Chicago and Washington, DC as part of free educational field trips. Lesson plans were disseminated throughout the school systems prior to the concerts and art work depicting the Buds characters was colored by the students and displayed outside the concert halls. Prior to the start of the DC concert, one class sang ‘Turn Down The Volume' a rap song commissioned by ASHA that reinforces the campaign message. Turn Down The Volume can be found at listentoyourbuds.org.
"Teacher feedback about the concerts has been overwhelmingly positive," ASHA President Sue Hale says. "Teachers are reporting that weeks later students are still talking about the fun they had at the concerts and remembering the main campaign message to keep the volume down. Clearly, our campaign tactic is delivering an important health message effectively, in a way that is understandable and accessible to children."
Additional concerts are slated for the Los Angeles area in September and New Orleans in November. In both cases, musicians will not only perform in concert halls, but they will also perform in elementary schools, bringing the campaign's message right down to the grassroots. They can also hear a complementary podcast that features NIDCD Director Dr. James Battey, Jr.