JACKSON, Wyo. — Students attending public and private schools in Teton County benefit, in great part, from hearing and vision equipment donated by the Jackson Hole Lions Club.
The Teton County School District nursing staff, in partnership with the Lions Club, worked together over the summer break, through even COVID conditions, to determine testing needs.
School nurse Esther Ellis shared with the Lions about the heavy workload of testing some 1,200 students in a short time as students return for the fall session. Ellis and her nursing team test grades Kindergarten, 1st grade, 3rd grade, 6th grade, and 9th grade every fall. This, all in addition to retesting, new student tests, and special requests from students, teachers or parents.
“It’s an ongoing, continuous task,” Ellis said.
And the testing wasn’t made any easier given the condition of the equipment. It was limited, outdated, and had to be shared among the nine schools located across the county at schools in Moran, Alta, Jackson, and Munger.
“Older equipment combined with a limited number of machines made the testing workload more challenging and stressful,” Ellis admitted.
The Jackson Hole Lions Club volunteers know all too well that students who can’t see or can’t hear will not do well in school. And without good solid schooling as a foundation, students could be at a disadvantage for the rest of their lives.
Lions took on the challenge and purchased three new GSI-39 test machines for the school district. Two years ago, the JH Lions donated four eye-screening machines to the schools, again to help the nursing team give students the best chance of succeeding in school.
Lions Club president Dorothy Neckels acknowledged this COVID year has been tough on businesses, students, hospital and emergency workers, restaurants, and volunteer groups.
“We count on the revenue from our pancake breakfasts on July 4th and at the Teton County Fair in order to make donations such as this hearing equipment, and those events did not happen this year,” Neckels said. “We just have to remain healthy, be innovative, and explore new ways to raise funds for these community projects. The Lions motto is ‘We Serve,’ and we will continue to do just that.”
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