Friday, June 12, 2009
Our school is simply buzzing with excitement and activity in preparation for next week's school wide ASL Festival.
The upcoming festival is a celebration of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf culture, literacy, the Deaf experience and also provides an opportunity to build and strengthen our community. It has been such a joy this past week to pass each classroom and see students & teachers engaging in the myriad ways to highlight American Sign Language.
The festival kicks off on Monday with the ASL-Beca Film Festival. It is a 90 minute film festival that will showcase films made by our students and also those of celebrated Deaf performers. Each class has submitted one short film chosen from a variety of styles such as documentary, comedy, drama, thriller, interview or public service announcement.
Tuesday ushers in De'Via which means Deaf View/Image Art. De'Via is created when the artist intends to express their Deaf experience through visual art. De'Via may also be created by deafened or hearing artists, if the intention is to create work that is born of their Deaf experience. Works may include paintings, sculptures, drawings, photography, printmaking, essays or poetry. Student work will be displayed throughout the school.
On Wednesday there is a panel discussion about growing up in a Deaf household. Many of our students are hearing children of Deaf adults (CODAs) and Deaf mother's and father's will be discussing issues and taking questions from our students about this experience.
We get into some friendly competition on Thursday with the ASL Bee. A 'bee' is an old word to describe a gathering of friends and neighbors to hold a competition. Our 'bee' will take place in the auditorium and will follow a Jeopardy-like format. Teams of students will be asked to answer a variety of questions that vary in degree of difficulty. This will culminate in two teams advancing to the 2nd round to compete in the ASL SLAM! I am really looking forward to this!
Finally, on Friday there will be an ASL performing awards assembly and a guest ASL performer. Throughout the week each class has signed up for an 'open house' in which to share their ASL stories (we have created ASL number stories - Lauren has been busy editing them all week and they are AMAZING!). Each class has prepared something a bit different for the enjoyment of others.
This is a huge endeavor and I must give thanks to Lauren, Dax and Jason for spearheading it. I can't wait!!