Club spotlight – ASL students sign up to serve


Kester Muthalaly

Miles Crabtree, Noah Paape, Stacey Fechner, Rebecca Henry, and Abby Milstein sign "waffles" Thursday, Dec. 20, in American sign language class. ASL teacher Chrisi Wahnschaffe created ASL Club to provide an opportunity to expand her students' signing skills. "I think it's a good opportunity for students to build relationships and also learn something that's a little different from the norm," Wahnschaffe said. "You get to have experience in another language and learn about another culture, and that's all pretty cool."

Maddie Moats, Reporter

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The American Sign Language Club (ASL) had their holiday party Dec. 12. They enjoyed treats, music, games and signing. The club’s last service project was collecting donations of non-perishable food items for the Lovepacs organization.

As a way to give students opportunities to further their sign language skills outside of the classroom ASL teacher, Christi Wahnschaffe, started the club.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for students to build relationships and also learn something that’s a little different from the norm,” Wahnschaffe said. “You get to have experience in another language and learn about another culture, and that’s all pretty cool.”

Those interested in joining ASL Club can expect to be involved in group events that will further develop their ASL skills.

“Anyone who is in ASL or just generally interested in ASL can come together, and we’ll have meetings over what’s going on within the club,” ASL Honor Society president Molly Ring said. “We have silent dinners where we all get together to eat, and we don’t talk at all. We just sign.”

For some, ASL Club provides the experience to enjoy an interesting and unique language.

“Whenever I was in ASL 1, I fell in love with the language and the culture,” sophomore ASL Club member Julia Bisaillon said. “I thought it was a super fun and interesting way to communicate.”

Through the silent dinners and additional games and activities, members can gain a deeper understanding of the deaf community.

“A lot of it is just to continue to immerse students in deaf culture and how they communicate, but also while trying to make it fun and interactive,” Ring said.

To join ASL Club, students should contact Mrs. Wahnschaffe. The application requires filling out a form and paying a fee to contribute to costs. The meeting schedule is flexible.

“We generally have them once a month, and they aren’t on a consistent day of the week,” Wahnschaffe said. “We always try to post them on ENN, and our club and honor society share a google classroom so that they can check the meeting schedule there.”

For Ring, who is interested in becoming an ASL teacher, the club has helped her find direction.

“Being in ASL Club helped me find people that are on a similar path as me,” Ring said. “It’s helped me make more relationships and more friendships between people that I would have never really talked to.”

Students that have joined the club report having gratitude for all of the opportunities it brought to them.

“It has allowed me to learn more about the culture, and it has allowed me to use my signs that I’ve learned through the ASL class,” Bisaillon said. “I think that it’s just been very beneficial  from a cultural standpoint that I get to immerse myself in the culture and work with other students that are learning the same things I am learning.”

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