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  • WSF Staff

Waterloo Schools Foundation Board Approves $5,000 Towards Translation Devices

The Waterloo Schools Foundation has committed $5,000 to purchase Pocketalks through their English Language Learning/Migrant Student Fund, supported by Farmers State Bank.

This request, initiated by Taylor Clark, an ELL teacher at Orange Elementary, stemmed from the high demand for interpreters within the Waterloo Community School District.

Clark explained, “Pocketalks are a two-way communication device allowing direct translation in conversations, text, written word, and signs. These devices allow for an easy, seamless transition of spoken or written languages to and from English. After visiting with my colleagues and seeing how successful Pocketalks have already been at Irving and Orange Elementary, we decided these devices would be beneficial for all Waterloo Schools.”

WSF and Clark plan to distribute a Pocketalk to each Waterloo Community School District secretary. Training will be provided before distribution to ensure at least one staff member in each building is fluent in its usage. Each building is expected to have a device by the start of this incoming school year.

Hannah Luce, WSF Executive Director, emphasized the importance of these devices, “With over 40 languages spoken within the Waterloo Community School District, it's vital to make sure ALL of our families have the proper care and communication channels for their children to succeed in our district.”

About Pocketalk: Pocketalk is a multi-sensory, two-way translation device. With a large touchscreen, noise-canceling microphones, and a text-to-translate camera, Pocketalk is able to create connections across 82 different languages. The sleek design is equipped with high-quality, noise-canceling microphones and two powerful speakers so it’s easy to have full conversations, even in noisy environments. The camera instantly recognizes and translates text, the written word, and signs. A large touch screen provides a text translation for additional clarity. Read more about Pockettalk on their website.

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