FHSR focuses on the following areas to support Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children with our work in Clinical, Education and Music Programming.
FHSR directly funds clinical programming at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago by supporting key support positions:
- Hart Family Cochlear Implant Education Coordinator
- Loaner Hearing Aid Bank
- Bilingual Social Workers
FHSR’s educational programming supports the READ & DEAR literacy programs in conjunction with Chicago Hearing Society/ CHOICES, putting books in the hands of the children who need them the most. Our funding allowed for the expansion of the program into Central and Southern Illinois, two areas that lack many resources to address the needs of the deaf/ hard of hearing child.
FHSR supports music programming with the launch the Music To My Ears Scholarship Fund commemorating the Foundation’s 60th Anniversary, in partnership with the Merit School of Music and The Old Town School of Music.
Research has shown the benefits of children being exposed to music in early childhood. These benefits are increased for a child with hearing loss. From language acquisition to sentence structure, inflection and tone, exposure to music provides indelible positive benefits.
The Music To My Ears Scholarship Fund will allow all children, regardless of financial need, to attend weekly music enrichment classes and experience the joy of music with their caregivers and hearing peers.
The scholarship will provide one year of tuition-free music classes to (up to 8 years of age) who are deaf/hard of hearing and living in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.
FHSR also supports music programming with the 2020 launch of the music classroom program in partnership with Childs Voice and Holy Trinity School for the Deaf.
The MTME Classroom program is the first of its kind in the Chicagoland area supporting the integration of school based music programs for deaf/hard of hearing children. By bringing together top professionals in the field of music and hearing loss educators, the school program stands to change the trajectory of the lives of deaf/ hard of hearing children. FHSR is providing music classes, either within in the curriculum or afterschool, allowing deaf/ hard of hearing child to be exposed to all the benefits of a music program while encouraging an environment where music is a normal part of a child’s life.
In addition to supporting ur strategic patners, we believe in the power of community. Therefore the over arching goal of FHSR is to create a community for families in Illinois who have children with hearing loss. Both the Board of Directors and the Associate Board are highly involved in finding interesting and unique ways to bring this group together. From free family concerts to outings at local venues, social media and mentorship programs, our goal is to make sure no child with hearing loss feels isolated or alone. We work to find opportunities for kids of all ages to bond and create strong ties that provide support in their daily lives.
Get involved… As important as it is for these kids to have a community, it is equally important for parents to find other like situated parents. Parents’ insight and experiences are crucial to keeping the conversation going. By joining our community we will work together to create awareness around issues of pediatric hearing loss and support our kids in their journeys.
Cheers for Ears, our free family concert that celebrates the powerful intersection of hearing and music was created six years ago. It brings children with hearing loss together for an afternoon of entertainment and community. Music not only provides an opportunity for the kids to connect with each other, it opens the door to so many possibilities. As parents our first instinct may not be to integrate music into our deaf/ hard of hearing kids lives. Seeing a group of kids with hearing loss reveling in the joy of a concert reminds us of the powerful connection music creates. As a Foundation, we are dedicated to making music a part of the community.
It can be hard to locate all the resources when your child is first diagnosed with hearing loss. FHSR works to streamline this process so that you may concentrate on your child and not be lost in a maze trying to find out crucial information about services that address pediatric hearing loss.