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August 30, 2005

Tennis balls cut the noise

Tennis balls are no longer just for playing tennis.

Increasingly, sliced open used balls are stuffed onto the feet of chairs and tables in classrooms to cut noise levels. The idea is spreading among schools in the Philadelphia area and beyond.

It may look a little funny but it works.

”No more of that scraping, grating noise”, Kathy Hayes, a teacher at the Rupert Elementary School in Pottstown, Montgomery County, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Children moving back and forth in their chairs are a common source of high classroom noise levels. It may interfere with teaching and is particularly bothersome to hearing impaired children. Much of the background noise is cut out by the soft tennis balls.

”If you have 20 children in a room, wiggling in their chairs – that’s a distraction, especially for students with attention deficit disorder and auditory problems”, said Joan Jackson, principal at Walter H. Hill Elementary School in Gloucester County, where tennis balls have been employed in the battle against classroom noise. – The Philadelphia Inquirer 06.10.2004

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