Brighter shirts are better to help deaf kids
Students swapped their school uniforms for loud shirts and beach-themed clothing on Friday in a bid to help raise money for the hearing impaired.
St Pius X School in New Plymouth encouraged its students to dress up in their brightest gear on September 29 to celebrate the national Loud Shirt Day.
Loud Shirt Day is the annual appeal for The Hearing House and the Southern Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme that enables deaf children with cochlear implant or hearing aids to listen and speak like their hearing peers.
Eden Fairweather, 11, who has worn hearing aids from age five and now has two cochlear implants, organised the day’s event.
‘‘I saw a website about it and wasn’t sure if the school celebrated it so I wanted to get involved,’’ she said.
The year six student asked principal Anna Wormald if the school could do something to celebrate the day.
Wormald thought it was a great idea and asked Eden to lead the project.
So Eden registered, put together a segment in the school newspaper, came up with a theme and even gave a presentation in front of the whole school about what the day was all about.
She was also doing the rounds collecting the money and would be banking the $258.90 raised.
Each cochlear implant costs around $50,00 - $100,000 and involved surgery being performed in Christchurch.
‘‘The money we raise will all go to people who need it,’’ Eden said.
The youngster said when she received the implant it was a long process that included lots of testing and assessments to see if she’d benefit from them.
Once fitted there was a twoweek period where she couldn’t hear anything before the devices were switched on.
Since then the results have been life-changing, Eden said.
‘‘It was pretty awesome when the implant was switched on and I could hear again.
‘‘It’s so much louder and clearer and I can understand people better now.’’
According to the website http:/ /www.loudshirtdaynz.org hearing aids help children with a moderate hearing loss by amplifying the sounds that they hear.
A cochlear implant works by imitating the function of the inner ear so that children who are born profoundly deaf or lose their hearing through illness or accident can hear.
Loud Shirts were in at St Pius X School in New Plymouth on Friday.