Kickball, Four Square, and soccer aren’t the only activities taking place during fifth grade recess at Lore School. On Wednesdays, over 30 fifth graders spend their recess time participating in the Fifth Grade Sign Language Club. The student club is led by fifth grader Eli Smith and his interpreter Sharon Snyder. Each week, Eli and Mrs. Snyder, who the students affectionately call Ms. Sharon, co-plan and deliver the instruction to a roomful of eager learners. Using American Sign Language, the participants have learned to sign the alphabet, numbers, colors, family terms, and animals.
In its second year, the club began when Eli transferred to Lore as a fourth grade student. Having a full-time interpreter in the classroom was a new experience for Eli’s classmates. The students immediately took interest in sign language and would ask Eli and Ms. Sharon how to sign different words. In the first year, Eli and Ms. Sharon offered to host the club for students in Eli’s fourth grade class. When Eli returned to school for fifth grade, there was an even greater student interest to join the Sign Language Club, so the co-leaders decided to offer it to all fifth grade students.
What started as curiosity will hopefully reach and inspire these fifth graders for many years to come!