PAH! Literacy with Bilingual /Multilingual Children- DEAF and HEARING!

This is the sign for BOOK in American Sign Language (ASL)
This is the sign for BOOK in ASL

Yesterday on Learning and Laughter with Louise I was so lucky to have three women join the show who are strong advocates for literacy within the bilingual/multilingual communities.

My first guest was Jennifer Jones from the Deaf  Family Literacy Academy in Florida. Her small, but mighty staff, help to promote reading and early education with families who have deaf children.  Jennifer is very passionate about her program and thrilled that they recently received a major grant from CVS which will help them to open another program site in Miami.

I invited Jennifer to be my guest VLOGGER (Video Blogger).  She signed in ASL her information that she shared on the radio show with me AND wrote what she said for our non-signing audience.

Here it is:  

jhoff19152 — June 03, 2010 — Hi, My name is Jennifer Jones and I want to tell you about the Deaf Family Literacy Academy, A Volunteer USA Program. This program helps parents who are hearing and have deaf children through teaching them strategies to communicate and read to their children through American Sign Language. We believe it is very important for parents to start early with their child who is deaf or hard of hearing to give them complete access to language from the earliest age possible and so they can bond with their families and be successful. Our ultimate goal is that deaf and hard of hearing children will be able to read and write on par with their hearing peers.

As the main component of our program, we have deaf adults (deaf mentors), many of whom are teachers, go into the homes of these families, read books to the children, do language activities with the children, help the parents learn ASL, and help older children with homework. We teach the parents how to be their child’s first teacher.

We have programs right now in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, Tampa, Fl in partnership with the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative (Rosa Rodriguez is the coordinator there). In the Tampa program, we serve some deaf parents who are not fluent in their reading and writing skills and we help them to read and write better in order to help their deaf or hearing child with homework and be able to read to them.

We are very excited because we received a grant from CVS to be able to expand our services to the Miami-Dade area. We have a few spots left for families in that area. We want to spread the word and let families know that they can receive these services at no cost. We also are partnering with the Alfano Center in Coral Gables to set up a “Mommy and Me” Family Literacy class two mornings a week for mommys or daddys who have a deaf or hard of hearing baby under the age of 3 years old. This class will be led by a deaf teacher that will teach ASL to the parents and babies and also a speech assistant will work in the group as well.

If you are interested in these services, please contact me at 954-608-7309 or jennifer.jones@volunteerusafund.org Thank you !

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The Second portion of the broadcast was with Karen Nemeth, EdM. (Owner of  Language Castle ) I adore Karen as she and I are very much like minded when it comes to helping teachers to integrate unique learning strategies in to the bilingual or multilingual classroom.  She wrote a super book- Many Languages, One Classroom.  If you are a teacher with multiple languages in your classroom this is a must buybuy-  here is the link: http://www.languagecastle.com/Language_Castle/LANGUAGE_CASTLE_HOME.html

Also, Karen asked to post the following resource workshop information  ( I plan on attending her July session in New Jersey and may broadcast LIVE from there!  Anyone want to join in the fun- let me know!)

Emotional Intelligence: Making Connections with Children who Speak Different Languages at the NAEYC Professional Development Institute on May 9, 2010

TWO-day intensive workshop on how early childhood teachers and ESL or bilingual education teachers can collaborate to support early learning and literacy in preschool dual language learners.  That’s part of the NJTESOL-NJBE (New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages-New Jersey Bilingual Educators) Summer Academy in Edison, NJ on July 7-8.  And here is the link for that event: http://www.njtesol-njbe.org/summer-academy/default.htm

Another helpful link is www.colorincolorado.org which offers many literacy tips and resources for parents and teachers.

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Last but not least my third guest was the amazing Stacey Kannenberg.  Someday I will dedicate an entire blog regarding my admiration for this owner of Cedar Valley Publishing,  the creator of  the HerInsight Network and my friend.  But, for today I will need to contain my gushing behavior and simply state that when it comes to advocating for children to learn to READ in the home and the classroom – you want Stacey Kannenberg in your corner.  She walks the walk and talks the talk … ALL THE WAY TO CONGRESS, or at least MOM CONGRESS.

Next week on Learning and Laughter we are going GREEK!  If you were in a fraternity or sorority and had a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE I want to hear from YOU!!

And a special congratulations to Seth, our son, who graduated this week with honors from Oakland Mills High School.  He started life as a very ill baby and has flourished in to a healthy and very happy teen. I have said it before and will say it again, he is my hero.  No kid should have to endure the pain and suffering he has known.  He battled many illnesses to come out stronger.  He has experienced true and raw grief when one of closest friends died.  He is what we call in Yiddish a Mensch-  a person who has true grit and willingly gives to others without expecting anything in return.

He will be off to Michigan State University in a two months to study criminal psychology and forensics.  This possible future FBI agent also loves his soccer FUTBOL.  I don’t often post photos of my kids in blogs- but to honor this special event  I will do so this week.  Enjoy!



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