If you were to lose both your ability to speak and your hearing today, you would lose your only known way of communicating with others. Those who are born deaf and mute live with these disadvantages, yet they are still able to communicate with sign language. LHS has a new Sign Language Club that gives you the skills and ability to communicate with these people.

“Sign language is important to me because I have a lot of family that are becoming hard of hearing and it is easy to communicate with that [sign language] rather than shouting, and I myself have trouble hearing people if they are not speaking loud enough. It’s just an important thing to me to have another form of communication,” said Junior Karis McKinney.

McKinney along with a few other friends, who had an interest in sign language, decided that they wanted to start a club so others could join in learning. Their problem last school year was finding which teacher to sponsor the club.

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Karis McKinney

“We [Karis and her friends] went to a meeting at the end of last school year, and there were a bunch of teachers that had an interest in sponsoring us. We came back at the beginning of the year and Mrs. Sanders told us she was our sponsor. She is a really good sponsor and we really enjoy having her and appreciate what she does,” said McKinney.

Mrs. Valarie Sanders is a math teacher here at LHS and the sponsor of the Sign Language Club. Sanders is interested in sign language because she has always loved other languages and it opens a way to communicate with those who are deaf and/or mute.

“I sponsored the club because I have always been interested in deaf culture. I took two classes in college for sign language to learn more about deaf culture and sign language, so I thought it would be good to help,” said Sanders.

While students have come to the meetings, and continue to come, Sanders and the others are looking for more students to join.

“There are other language classes like French and Spanish that are offered but sign language is not. I think it is important for students to come and learn about what ASL [American Sign Language] is and to learn more about the deaf culture,” said Sanders.

Junior Allison Nelson is one of the students who heard about the club and decided she was going to join. She has always held an interest for sign language and elaborated on what she hopes to do with her new-found skills.

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Allison Nelson

“I am hoping to talk with deaf people in case I meet any, and to be aware that there are people who can not speak or hear English like we can, and to still communicate and include them even though we do not speak the same language,” said Nelson.

The sign language club will meet Thursday, September 27thduring lab and Tuesday, October 2ndafter school, both in the community rooms. Listen to the after school announcements for more details.