Just so that a little 6-year-old deaf girl would feel welcomed into her class, the entire elementary school learned sign language. Isn’t that such a sweet and thoughtful gesture?!
Morey Belanger, from Maine, who is Dayton Consolidated School’s first deaf student, stepped into the school with an opportunity for everyone there to learn sign language.
Now, sign language posters are lined up on the walls of hallways, and the students have learned how to sign more than 20 words. So impressive! Also, the school got a hearing assistive system installed and has implemented extra teacher training to incorporate sign language into every classroom.
The children and teachers of the school have really come to love Morey, who has been successful in helping them learn sign language. Everyone looks up to her and really respect her. They love spending time with her and learn sign language whenever they get any free time. Through all of this, the whole school has worked hard to keep out any insecurities Morey might have, but have done nothing but the best to provide her with equal opportunities, as every other child.
Morey’s mother, Shannon Belanger, mentioned that her family is touched by how the school has embraced Morey and are supporting her all the way.
“I absolutely feel like it makes her feel welcomed,” Belanger said to the news. “I think all the kids feel excited that they know another language and I think they think it’s fun.”
“Morey — without even knowing it — has taught us so much,” said school Principal Kimberly Sampietro. “She has brought a culture to our building that we didn’t have before.”
To celebrate the children and to reward them for their hard work, the school invited Cinderella, the real-life princess, to spend time with them. Since Cinderella could sign, the school thought it would be the perfect gift for the children and for Morey.
“We wanted to show our students that this isn’t something they can only speak with Morey,” said Principal Sampietro, who said most students in their rural Maine school have not encountered many people with hearing impairment. “We wanted to show them that signing happens in all kinds of settings.”
When Cinderella came to spend time with the students and sing to them, Morey was right there helping with the signing.
Our community has embraced American Sign Language- many staff and students learning additional sign on their own. As a thank you and as a way of reminding our students that ASL goes beyond our walls, Cinderella paid a visit and sang us a song while using ASL. Thank you to Rent a Princess for donating your services!
Posted by Dayton Consolidated School on Wednesday, May 29, 2019
There is so much to learn from these wonderful children and the school on the whole. Such a beautiful example of acceptance, love and being inclusive, where differences feel like they don’t even exist. Makes the heart warm.