ASL Club exposes members to deaf culture


Used with permission of Heather Berry.

Sand Creek Intermediate fifth and sixth graders learn to spell their name in sign on Sept. 11, 2018

Janie VanOverwalle, Reporter

Breaking a streak of over 10 years, ASL club is continuing its mission to teach students of all ages in American Sign Language, under ASL teacher and club sponsor Heather Berry.

The club recently started something new.The club has began taking trips to Sand Creek Intermediate teaching the alphabet and spelling their names in sign to fifth and sixth graders. Berry said there were many smiles between the kids and the students.

ASL member and junior Kaylee Anderson mentioned future plans when going to the Intermediate school.

“We go to [Sand Creek] every other Tuesday with a lesson plan we had from the previous week.” Anderson said. “In a few weeks we will have some sort of Halloween lesson along with learning numbers.”

Anderson said she feels like she connects more with her peers in the club rather than in the classroom during the school day. Berry said the club facilitates the learning of sign in a more social and laid-back setting, where students do not have to cover content in the same structured manner as in a classroom.

“I connect with my students differently in the club than in the class,” Berry said. “I think the students get to use sign in a different way than they do in the class.”

According to Berry the club goes out to restaurants for what they called silent meals, where she and members of the club sign instead of speak. They also go down to the Indiana School for the Deaf and their Homecoming game.

Berry said there are some non-ASL class members in the club. There are a handful of students who know deaf adults, that do not participate in the class but still learn sign.

ASL club is for anyone interested,regardless of whether or not students take ASL. It meets every Tuesday in A113, everyone is encouraged to join.