On the Site:


Highland High School raising funds for translation earbuds to help refugee students

Nov 20, 2023, 5:13 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Highland High School is trying to help their refugee students in a big way, hoping to raise funds to purchase special translation earbuds to bridge the gap for students with little-to-no English-speaking skills.

Highland High has more than 400 refugee students all speaking up to 60 different languages.

“In a school like this you want to help those kids that have a good foundation progress quickly,” Maja Onda said.

Onda teaches two classes for the English development students at the entry-level.

“And those who don’t have a good foundation to help them build those fundamental skills that they need to be successful in their new life here and also in an academic situation. That’s really hard when you’re starting from little to no literacy,” she said.

Breaking barriers

To help break the language barriers, Highland is hoping to purchase about 100 Timekettle Translator earbuds. 

The earbuds are already being used at Herriman High School. Administrators there told KSL at the beginning of the school year the device is a “game-changer.”

“For the kids that come in and they’re like ‘wow, this is a new world and school’s not working for me because I don’t understand what my teachers are saying’, this is a lifeline,” Onda said.

A lifeline two students, Sedra and Kimberly, had the chance to test out Monday.

Sedra speaks Arabic. Principal of Highland, Jeremy Chatterton, was able to have a conversation with her while using the devices. It’s the first time she’s heard a teacher speak to her in her native language at school.

“How does it feel,” Chatterton said. “It’s good,” Sedra said with a smile on her face.

Help in the classroom

Both Sedra and Kimberly are concerned the earbuds could impact how quickly they learn English but are excited to see how this helps them in the classroom.

“I think we’ll be able to learn English, understanding the instructions from teachers with this,” Kimberly said in Spanish.

“I think this will really help some of our kids who just feel lost,” Onda said.

The school is hoping to raise close to $30,000. Your donation will be tax-exempt. To donate, click here. 

For more information you can also call Mindy Smith, Family Support Coordinator at Highland, at 801-949-6569.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

In the winter, moose can end up anywhere, including your back yard. DWR biologists shot this moose ...

Mark Jones

DWR offers tips on when to report wildlife encounters or sightings

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says there are times when wildlife encounters or sightings should be reported. And there are also times when such occurrences don't need to be told about.

26 minutes ago

One of the banked corners of the sliding track at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City on Monday, Nov...

Lisa Riley roche, Deseret News

A big decision is coming about Utah’s bid to host another Olympics. Here’s what you need to know

IOC leaders set to advance bids for 2030, 2034 Winter Games this week.

51 minutes ago

The Jordan School District is kicking off this year’s charity fundraisers this week. Each school...

Karah Brackin

Jordan School District kicks off annual charity fundraisers this week

The Jordan School District is kicking off this year’s charity fundraisers this week. Each school picks out its own charity and students put in work to fundraise.

1 hour ago

Two BASE jumpers were rescued by 
 search and rescue personnel in separate incidents last week near...

Mark Jones

Two BASE jumpers injured last week in separate incidents near Moab

The Grand County Sheriff's Office says a 37-year-old BASE jumper was injured in a fall last week, and another jumper suffered ankle and wrist injuries in a separate incident. 

3 hours ago

KSL Yule Log Powered By FM100.3...


WATCH: FM100.3 Christmas Concert featuring Eclipse 6 and GENTRI

SANDY — FM100.3 presents their Christmas Concert Series at the Shops at South Town from noon to 1 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday’s concert features two Utah-based groups: Eclipse 6 and GENTRI. Eclipse is a Utah-based acapella group, that began at Utah State University in 2000. The group consists of: James Case, Paul Hansen, […]

4 hours ago

Rep.-elect Celeste Maloy will be sworn in as a member of the House of Representatives on Tuesday ev...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko

Celeste Maloy to be sworn in by Speaker Mike Johnson Tuesday night

Rep.-elect Celeste Maloy will be sworn in to represent Utah's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday evening, just one week after her special election victory.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

Highland High School raising funds for translation earbuds to help refugee students