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ERIC Number: EJ1143012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1544-6751
Massachusetts Offers Trilingual Reading Saturdays to Increase Reading Skills and Confidence
Vesey, Kathleen M.
Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, v18 p21-23 2017
This article describes the experiences of some of the many families of the deaf and hard of hearing children who come to Shared Reading Saturdays at Northern Essex Community College (NECC) in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The program, which includes monthly gatherings and is coordinated by the NECC's Gallaudet University Regional Center, features deaf individuals helping hearing parents learn how to read with their children in American Sign Language (ASL) in response to research that indicates young children whose families read with them on a regular basis do better academically and achieve more success in school (Trelease, 2001). Approximately 12 families from throughout the Greater Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts attend the program. The children range in age from infancy to 11 years old. They are joined by their parents and siblings--and often by their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. The sessions give the adults the communication tools to read with their children, and organizers hope that they do so multiple times per week. The day begins with light refreshments. Then the deaf and hard of hearing children and their siblings assemble by age to participate in organized activities with volunteers and staff related to a book that has been selected for the month. At the same time, adult family members meet with a deaf instructor and learn to read the story out loud and use ASL. The instructor models reading using ASL and provides additional information related to reading to deaf and hard of hearing children (Schleper, 1997). Following the instruction, the families break into small groups and practice signing the story with the assistance of a deaf tutor. When practice time is over, the children join their families to read the story together. The deaf tutors observe and then offer tips on reading in ASL, communicating with the deaf and hard of hearing children, and storytelling. The program is now in its thirteenth year.
Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Avenue NE, KS 3600, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-526-9105; Tel: 202-651-5340; Fax: 202-651-5708; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A