Math-Minded Student Brings “Musically Minded” Therapy to Debbie School

Thanks to one high school student’s compassion, determination and gift for math, preschool classrooms at the Debbie School, a division of the Mailman Center for Child Development, are now equipped with keyboard pianos, bongo drums, xylophones, diatonic bells, headphones and other resources teachers can use to provide music therapy to students with hearing impairments.

A senior at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, 17-year-old Julia Telischi has a lot of second-hand knowledge about growing up with hearing loss. Her father Fred Telischi, M.D., professor and Chair of Otolaryngology, has helped hundreds of children gain the gift of hearing. So, to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, Julia spent two years as a math tutor to raise the necessary funds to equip Debbie School classrooms with instruments and other resources children can use to improve their listening and communication skills — while having fun.

Called “Musically Minded,” Julia’s project also includes working with music therapists at the Debbie School to set up the optimal learning environment for using music to nurture different parts of the developing brain.

The Debbie School recognized Julia for her dedication at its June graduation ceremony by presenting her with a plaque. In addition to being a Girl Scout, honor student and volunteer, Julia competes nationally in the sport of fencing.

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