BHS ASL students to sign song as gift to deaf community

Special to the Bulletin
Seven of the ASL students that will be attending the service to sign a special song at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 15. (Top row, left to right) Bryona Schiller, Shea Hughes, John Monson, Alexis Berndt, (Bottom row) Gillian Sapp, Simona Perez (Photo by BHS Photography student, Lillian Jonescue)

On Sunday, December 15, Brownwood High School (BHS) American Sign Language (ASL) students will give back to the community by offering a special signed song. “ASL students would like to gift this signed song to all Deaf and Hard of Hearing community members as an outreach and way of giving back during this special season to an often overlooked and under-served culture and community within Brownwood and the surrounding areas,” explained BHS World Languages/ASL teacher, Renee Fraze. “This special offering will take place at First United Methodist Church of Brownwood during the Traditional Service in the Sanctuary that begins at 10:40 a.m.”

American Sign Language falls under the Language Other Than English (LOTE) category and is taken as a credit for foreign language requirements by most students and as an elective by others. This is the first year that BHS has offered the course and there are three sections with a total of 64 students.

“BHS is using a TEA/State approved curriculum called Signing Naturally, which covers over 250 vocabulary signs in the first year, culture, grammar and Deaf History notes in the first edition and then continues to a second edition which takes the student more in depth with expanded vocabulary, culture, grammar and Deaf History,” noted Fraze. “Students are beginning to ask for extra credit opportunities where they demonstrate their learned skills in the community and so this event is one of those outreach and extra credit opportunities.”

Around 18 of the ASL students from the high school are expected to sign the song at the service.

“All are welcome and invited,” added Fraze. “We ask that you invite any and all Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals you may know to see this delightful gift.”