Superintendent’s Memo #034-12

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

February 3, 2012

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  “Listen to Your Buds” Campaign

Recent research suggests that listening to sounds at high volumes for more than an hour per day may cause permanent hearing loss. With the prevalence of MP3 players, it is important that children learn appropriate listening habits.

To raise awareness about hearing health, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has developed the award-winning “Listen to Your Buds” campaign – a public education campaign aimed at preventing noise-induced hearing loss by helping parents and educators teach children how to use personal audio technology safely. With the help of cartoon earbud characters, the campaign teaches safe listening and hearing loss prevention habits to children. The campaign features a national coalition of musicians who have pledged to promote the safe listening message as well as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) contest open to children ages 8-18. To learn more about the program and take the campaign pledge, visit

For more information, contact Cheri Kelleher, virtual schools program coordinator, at the Virginia Department of Education by phone at (804) 786-9281 or via e-mail at