OCHS ASL StudentsOn March 17th, Ocean City High School’s American Sign Language (ASL) classroom was visited by 19 Ocean City Girl Scouts, between the ages of six and ten, with Troop Leader and Board Member Jacqueline McAlister. ASL teacher, Amy Anderson, and four of her ASL 3 Honors students, Hallie DuBruille, Alexis Riddiough, Ashlyn Petro and Kylie Olson, helped introduce the girls to the language and understand more about Deaf Culture. Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor also attended the presentation, which in the spirit of the holiday, began with signs all relating to St. Patrick’s Day.Once the Girl Scouts had a handle on the new vocabulary, they played a well-known game called “whisper down the lane.” As they became more familiar with the language, they began signing quicker and quicker, rushing with excitement to pass their sign “down the lane”! The four high school ASL students then explained how every country has its own sign language and that there are actually 250 different signed languages in the world, causing us to study American Sign Language in America. The girls watched a few videos of British Sign Language, Italian Sign Language, and French Sign Language while the high school students signed along in ASL to show the differences.“There was a genuine and sincere connection between the high school seniors and the younger OC students, which was wonderful to see; students teaching students. The high school kids were a wonderful example of the range of caring and interesting, kind children we nurture.”- Jacqueline McAlisterTo further reinforce the concept of Deaf Culture, the Girl Scouts learned about De’Via Art – Deaf View Image Art. They learned about three different Deaf artists and each of their unique styles. They were even given the chance to look at different pieces of artwork, while trying to identify which artist had created it. The girls were even lucky enough to receive a couple video phone calls from members of the Deaf Community, including a woman named Carrie Pogue and a couple from Mays Landing. They signed with the girls and answered questions such as, “How do you know how much money your food costs in the grocery store when the checkout clerk says the number out loud?” It was a great experience for the girls, getting to meet members of our Deaf Community and being able to ask them questions face to face.Before the girls left, the OCHS ASL students signed a song called “Different Colors” that will be the opener in this year’s ASL Show on June 2nd and 3rd. The show will be an original musical written by one of the school’s ASL seniors, incorporating songs, signing, voicing, acting, costumes and a link between the hearing and Deaf communities. The girl scouts will attend as a troop, as they had such a wonderful time being introduced to the Deaf Culture and to the ASL program, which is integral to the wide array of opportunities offered to all students.
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