Signing Santa Visits Deaf/Hard of Hearing Class at Becky-David

Posted on 12/13/2018
Signing Santa Visits Deaf/Hard of Hearing Class at Becky-David

The Holiday season is a special time of year for many families, full of wonderful sounds. Christmas music floods the radio, the sounds of joy and laughter fill the air, and the crinkle of wrapping paper as it’s being ripped off of gifts. While these joyful noises can signify Christmas for many, there are a few who aren’t able to hear these sounds of the season.

Two students decorate Christmas cookies.“For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, there is often a sense of feeling left out,” said Lawanda Brewer, teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Becky-David Elementary. “I have friends [in class] who struggle and need to have a connection and feel like they belong. I have other friends who don’t get an opportunity to see Santa or sit on his lap.” A woman on a mission, Brewer hit social media in hopes of reaching Santa.

When the students walked into the classroom and saw Santa waiting for them, eyes lit up and smiles were wide. “I felt really excited because I’ve never seen Santa Claus in school,” said Heaven M. “I really wish I could visit him at the North Pole!”

After the initial shock of the sight of the big man in the red suit sank in, Santa was able to show off some of his American Sign Language knowledge for the students. He started talking about Christmas (C-hand shape with the right hand and tilt back towards the wrist), use the student’s names (Lily’s name is signed by making an L with the thumb and index fingers, and touching the L-hand to each side of the nose), and decorating cookies (twisting outstretched fingers to the left and then to the right on the palm of the opposite hand). 

Heaven M. smiles with Santa and makes the "I Love You" ASL sign.When Santa started using ASL, the students were ecstatic. Their eyes lit up as he used the specific signs for their own names. “For Santa to sign with them and talk to them, it meets them where they are and engages them visually,” said Brewer.

Santa also made some additions to his infamous list, adding what each student wanted for Christmas that year. “I asked for a game watch, boots, and Christmas dresses,” said Lily M.

Mark Delaney, Director of Human Resources for FHSD, was Santa's special helper for the visit. “Personally, I loved it,” said Delaney. “I enjoyed interacting with the students and have parents that are deaf. I really enjoyed the interactions and the time spent with the students. I loved seeing the surprise and the smiles.”

As Christmas draws nearer, it’s important for everyone to be able to enjoy the Holidays. Gifts as small as a smile and a wave can mean just as much as those with a price tag. A little bit of kindness can go a long way, and it will only help you end up on Santa’s Nice List!


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