Library celebrates Deaf Awareness month

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Poland librarian Karen Steed taught local students basic sign language Sept. 28 at the Poland libraries Snack and Sign event.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Librarian Karen Steed ran the Snack and Sign event at the Poland library Sept. 28. Steed is a certified teacher of the deaf and is fluent in American Sign Language.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Karen Steed, a librarian at the Poland library, handed out sheets to help students learn different signs at the Snack and Sign event Sept. 28.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.During the Poland libraries Snack and Sign event librarian Karen Steed used American Sign Language as she spoke to the nine students gathered at the event.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker .Karen Steed, a librarian at the Poland library, taught local students American Sign Language Sept. 28 at the Snack and Sign event for fifth- through eighth-graders.

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Neighbors | Jessica Harker.Nine local students gathered at the Poland library Sept. 28 for the Snack and Sign event where they ate free snacks and practiced basic sign language.

By JESSICA HARKER

jharker@vindy.com

For National Deaf Awareness month, the Poland library kicked off their monthly Snack and Sign event. The event took place on Sept. 28 with nine local students in attendance.

During Snack and Sign, children in grades fifth through eighth gather at the library after school for free snacks and to learn sign language.

“It’s a great program and the children love it,” said Karen Steed, a librarian at the Poland library.

Steed, who ran the program, is a certified teacher of the deaf.

She received a degree in American Sign language, and worked for a time as an interpreter.

During the program Steed used hand-outs and taught students signs that coincided with food and school.

The group of students will meet once a month for the program, and learn different signs as well as review old ones.

“Sign language is very important to me, I love it and I love to teach it,” Steed said. “Its great for kids to be able to pick up another language.”

Steed said that the annual event coincides with the ASL summer camp the library hosted this year.

The camp was a two day long event where local students grades 4th through 8th grade spent time learning sign language and about deaf culture.

“I really think its important for students to learn about sign language and deaf culture, and to have an appreciation for it,” Steed said.

ASL camp took place July 25-26 and multiple students who attended the camp also attended the Snack and Sign event.

For more information on upcoming library events, go to www.libraryvisit.org.

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