Sign Language storytime in Lake Country library makes learning fun and inclusive

Once a week, being noisy in the library is actually encouraged.

Every Saturday at the Okanagan Regional Library in Lake Country they invite kids and their families to sing, dance, ask questions and learn American Sign Language.

“Every time I come and do the story time, the children always love to come and learn to sign and watch me sign, and at the end of story time, they will go home with a big smile on their face,” A.S.L. instructor Dellalee Piper said.

Kids who are deaf or hard of hearing get a chance to visit a story time that is inclusive for them, and for anyone else who is interested, they can learn a few words each week.

“Everyone needs to learn how to sign,” said Lisa Meneian, executive director Deaf Children Society B.C.

“It’s a family affair, it’s not just about the child and their mom and dad.”

Province-wide, there are approximately 547 children five years old and under who are hearing impaired, according to Meneian, and she says that there is a significant number in the Okanagan.

“It just opens doors for so many people,” said Wendy Jewell of the Okanagan Regional Library Lake Country branch.

“We are connecting with more people in the community. I think families with deaf or hard of hearing children don’t participate in things so much because it’s a communication issue.”

The A.S.L. Story Telling Time is scheduled to continue every Saturday at 10:15 a.m. until April 4.

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