After seeing the following video and post last week we reached out to theGirl Scouts of the USA to ask permission to share it with you. We wanted to share what some of the Signing Time Academy Instructors are doing to teach Girls Scouts how to sign.
While selling Girl Scout Cookies with her dad, 9-year-old Phoenyx ran into a cookie customer who was deaf. Writing on a slip of paper, the customer asked Phoenyx to return later, when someone else would be home. This one incident inspired this go-getting Girl Scout to learn ASL—not only to communicate with cookie customers in the future, but as a lifelong skill.
Amy McKnight, owner of The Signing Connection and Signing Time Academy Instructor, has worked several Girl Scout events and programs to teach Sign Language to help girls earn a patch for their sashes through the Central Texas Girl Scout Council.
In Killeen, Texas, Amy spent the day providing workshops to each of the different levels. For the younger ones (Daisies and Brownies) they mainly focused on signs for animals, colors, and family. Amy’s workshops were area-based. The girls rotated through different areas playing games, a craft, and spelling out their first names with ASL stamps depicting the ASL manual alphabet. Then they met in a circle to learn signs. The older girls (Juniors to Ambassadors) were taught some of the same… but they also learned a traditional campfire song in ASL, plus some great information about Deaf culture. At the end of all of the workshops, the girls earned a Sign Language patch for their sashes.
So far, Amy has done three events for the Austin scouts, 1 in Killeen and 2 in San Marcos. She was also invited to the Gold Jubilee – Austin (100th Anniversary) where she ran games and activities for approximately 250 Scouts. They worked on teamwork and cooperation.
Bree Loggins, owner ofiSIGN and Master Signing Time Academy Instructor, collaborated with the Girls Scouts of Central Texas to provide week long ASL Workshops during the Summer. They had a wonderful time and the girls were so eager to learn! Bree used portions of the Signing Time Classroom Edition curriculum and supplemented material with information on ASL grammar, Deaf culture/Deaf history, and careers that utilize ASL. One of the older girls was so inspired by the experience that she decided to focus her Girl Scout Silver Award on the Deaf community!
Anna Larson Kernes, owner of The Signing Station and Signing Time Instructor, shared the following:
My daughter has been a Girl Scout since she was in second grade and is now in fourth grade. Girl Scouts has taught her so much, including how to self motivate, set and attain goals, as well as find her passion for giving back. When she started, I didn’t understand the whole cookie selling thing. I just don’t like fund raisers. But, as my daughter participated, I understood it was about much more than cookies. I found that every skill my daughter learned in Girl Scouts she was able to exercise through selling cookies.
Being that I am a Signing Time Academy Instructor, I’ve been teaching my daughter ASL since birth, but that doesn’t mean she always had a community to practice with or understood the importance of what I was doing, or why. As she sold cookies, she knew she needed to reach out to my friends in order to sell cookies. She made little videos of herself signing for me to post to the various ASL groups I go to monthly, and then she followed up by attending these events and using her ASL skills to sell cookies to my friends. This was completely out of her comfort zone, but she worked diligently to overcome her fear and it paid off. Not only did she sell a ton of cookies, but she endeared herself to many hearts by showing people she was willing to try to communicate in that person’s language. This year is her third year doing this and she has gained quite a following. Every January I have friends start texting me to see when Riley is going to come back and sign to them to sell her cookies. Riley gets so excited (although still a bit scared) to know they want her to come back. This year, when posting about Riley coming out to sell cookies, one of my friends, who is Deaf and has a daughter who is Deaf, responded to my post that she so wished their School for the Deaf had a Girl Scout Troop, so her daughter could participate the way Riley does. I was so surprised and saddened that there wasn’t one! I talked to my daughter’s troop leader and we are setting up to get my daughter’s troop and the School for the Deaf connected so that they can have a troop as well! I’m excited for what’s to come! Every child, hearing or deaf, should be able to be a Girl Scout and experience the strong woman they can become because of it! My daughter and I are so thankful for the ASL we know because without it, we could never have connected to the Deaf community, and my daughter would have never had the opportunities to learn about and understand the different ways of communication that connect us all. #TeachYourChildrenASL #EveryLittleBitHelps
For more information about Girl Scouts and how to join or volunteer, visit www.girlscouts.org/join. You can visitwww.girlscoutcookies.org for more information and to find Girl Scouts selling cookies near you.
To find a Signing Time Academy Instructor to work with your Girl Scout Troop visit https://www.signingtime.com/academy