Ruby Major Elementary School Acquires Technology for New Building

Case Study:
Ruby Major Elementary School
Davidson County, Tennessee

Opening its doors in 2005, Ruby Major Elementary School serves the expanding area of Donelson and Hermitage in Davidson County, Tenn. Educating nearly 500 kindergarten through fifth grade students, staff members continue to add new technology and audio-visual equipment.

Led by Principal Teresa Dennis, who was chosen recently as a National Distinguished Principal from Tennessee, the elementary school staff prides themselves on being a forward-thinking community. "We wanted to incorporate learning centers in the classroom, and because we are a newer school, we had to start from scratch," said Melanie Clark, the Library Media Specialist.

"After receiving long-awaited funding, we decided to purchase the Califone Spirit™ Multimedia Player for each classroom because it not only had a CD player, but also a cassette player," Clark explained.

The Spirit supports both indoor and outdoor classroom activities and programs. Built for school use with a cassette recorder/player, CD player and an AM-FM radio, it also can be used for individual or group reading activities, literacy groups, ELD/ESL applications, and other language learning programs. Its portable size is ideal for music and movement activities outside the classroom as well.

Teachers utilize the boomboxes as an integral part of their learning centers, pairing it with four headphones for group listening. Students are often tasked with listening to essential literature in conjunction with writing prompts or subject-specific texts.

"The teaching staff received basic training and are pretty excited about having them in their classrooms," Clark said. "Many of the teachers are appreciative of the new equipment as they see it a great tool for remediation as well."

The Spirit multimedia recorder/player also is ideal for use in a learning center environment, allowing multiple students to listen, follow along and learn together while other students in the class concentrate on alternative activities. Available in either a four or six-person package, the Spirit Listening Centers offer educators four or six Switchable Stereo/Mono Headphones, and a ten-position Stereo Jackbox with individual volume controls for independent group study.

Research indicates that reading is a learned behavior that must be taught and repeatedly reinforced. And since, according to a Literacy in the Labor Force report, only a little more that half of all students in today's U.S. elementary schools learn to read and write well enough to be functionally literate, it is vital that students are encouraged to read and to remain engaged in literacy activities. Listening to a recorded book while following along with the printed text is a great way to improve reading skills.

Another school working to inspire students is R. Stewart Esten Elementary School in Plymouth County, Mass. Under the direction of their principal, Carol McGrath, the school adopted a new reading program designed to help educators teach reading through engaging literature and differentiated instruction. One of the three main components of the program requires the use of a listening center, so McGrath researched viable options for a CD player and headphones.

Ultimately, she too chose the six-person Spirit Listening Center. "We chose the Califone product because it met the requirements of our new reading program and we understand that other principals have used the product and it worked well for their programs," McGrath explained.

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