Many moons ago I was a graduate student at Penn State and became involved with research regarding language and literacy development with children who were born deaf. My research looked at a variety of parameters, but I was most interested in how deaf children born to hearing parents learned their communication and reading skills. This intrigued me on many levels, but mostly because the vast majority of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Plus, working with children who communicated with sign language was fun!
Now many years later I have learned that parents of deaf children are very varied with the choices they make towards communicating and educating their children. Almost as many options are presented to them from medical and educational specialists as flavors of ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s. It is up to parents and perhaps these professionals to determine what is the best method(s) to educate a child based on needs.
One thing I do know for certain- children who are deaf deserve the right to have quality learning tools as hearing children. This is why i was delighted to see the Scholastic Storybook Treasures series which features favorite childhood stories. As an educator these DVDs which use American Sign Language (ASL) are engaging and have all the learning bases covered. The three available DVDs include the stories – Pocket for Courdory, Goodnight Moon, and Three Little Monkeys. Each one has great graphic art to help children recognize immediately the books as well as important content. The text is open captioned which helps deaf and hearing children read along. There exists vocabulary, comprehension and fine motor tasks which help to support learning, too. This is the perfect learning tool for both deaf children of hearing parents AND deaf children of deaf parents!
Now for the bonus aspect of the Scholastic Storybook Treasures- hearing children can benefit, too! Imagine how wonderful it would be for a deaf and hearing child to share a conversation with ASL as the common language thread. How two children can sit side by side on a computer and practice ASL, read along with the story and perhaps transition to the hard cover book for follow-up! I can envision preschool classes being multi-modal and multi-cultural as these stories are told in ASL with follow-up lessons about deaf culture and sign language. And of course, these DVDs would be on my list of “must haves” for programs which help children with other learning challenges- such as Learning Disabilities (LD), Autism and Speech/Language Delays sans the hearing loss involvement.
I recently interviewed Dave Victorson who co-created this ASL DVD along with Missy Keast. Dave is hearing and Missy is deaf. Together they filled a need within the deaf literacy market. I commend them for their efforts (for my interview with Dave Victorson please read Part Two of this blog). I also pointed out to them that there is another vast market of learners who they may have overlooked- beginning ASL students who are at the high school or college level. I’ll leave that commentary for Part Three!
For now- I want you to enjoy the first excerpt video from their website. http://www.ASLInside.com
And……Note that their is a very wonderful special purchase being made available starting October 26th-
Buy all three Scholastic Storybook Treasures Sign Language DVDs for $24.95.
I received no monetary compensation for this review/ blog. Simply sample product.