Some schools are making certain that soft spoken kids are heard when they pass the mike among their classmates.

Soft SkillsIn the Irvine Unified School District, six schools have equipped classrooms with microphones and speakers.  Now teachers and students can hear all voices no matter how soft, and no matter where they are in a room.  Teachers wear a small square mike around their necks, and students can pass a microphone around when they speak or make presentations.

The system, called Juno, was installed in 34 classrooms at Woodbury Elementary. They received a $25,000 grant from the nonprofit Irvine Public Schools Foundation to make it possible.

“Some of my students are quiet or shy or have a soft voice,” said Woodbury fourth grade teacher Elicia Ehlers. She co-wrote the grant application. “It gives them confidence.”

Ehlers also added that the system is especially helpful for English language learners. Irvine is well known for its highly rated public schools, and attracts families from all over the world.

Ehlers’ class passed the microphone as they read aloud “By the Great Horn Spoon!”

“I really like using it because it makes me feel confident and it makes me feel like I have a louder voice,” said 9-year-old Michelle Lu, who is known among her classmates as having a soft voice.

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