Storytelling at the library, American Sign Language-style


October 02, 2002|By Heather Tepe | Heather Tepe,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

MEMBERS OF the deaf community shared folklore from deaf culture, told children's stories and even a few jokes last week as the central branch of the library celebrated Deaf Awareness Week with an evening of American Sign Language storytelling.

The event was also an opportunity to promote the new American Sign Language (ASL) video collection at the library. The collection contains more than 200 videos, including classic literature translated into ASL, popular movies with closed captioning, basic ASL lessons and ASL stories that appeal to children.

Howard County is one of 17 library systems in the United States to offer such a collection.

Richard Cohen, vice president of the Howard County Association of the Deaf, led the effort to establish the ASL collection at the library and helped establish a fund to increase the collection. Cohen, of Ellicott City, became deaf after a bout of spinal meningitis at age 3.

Cohen began the evening with an expressive interpretation of The Star-Spangled Banner. Ron Fenicle, president of the Howard County Association of the Deaf, told the packed room the story of "The Three Little Deaf Pigs." After Fenicle's performance, audience members raised their arms and waved their hands instead of clapping.

Other storytellers for the evening included brothers Sean Markel of Glenwood and Allen Markel of University Park. Interpreters translated the stories and songs for the hearing members of the audience.

After the storytelling, the audience was invited to take a look at the library's ASL collection. Jim and Dorothy Casterline said through an interpreter that they had already checked out a Sherlock Holmes video and one on parliamentary procedure.

Jim Casterline said more materials about deaf people and deaf culture are needed at the library. "I hope the library will continue to expand the collection," he said.

Donations to enhance the collection can be made to the George W. Veditz Fund, c/o Howard County Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia 21045.

Music on the move

Ten bands performed in the second Howard County Music in Motion high school marching band show and competition, held at Atholton High School on Saturday. The show was part of the U.S. Scholastic Band Association's circuit of marching band competitions.

Steve Marini, president and event coordinator of Howard County Music in Motion, said that nearly 400 people came to watch local and regional marching bands perform. Proceeds from the event will be used to support music programs in Howard County schools.

Although Marini no longer has children in the school system, he is a strong supporter of band programs.

"Music study brings kids of all ages in high school together," he said. "Both sexes, different races and different religions work together toward a common goal - performing good music - and they do it all year long."

Marini's three children participated in the band program at Atholton High. Daughter Lisa Schlossnagle is a teacher at Olney Elementary School. Nick Marini is a senior at Peabody Institute and plays trombone professionally. And daughter Andrea is a freshman at Virginia Tech.

Local marching bands that performed in the show were the Atholton High School band, under the direction of Lee Stevens; the Long Reach High School band, under the direction of David Lunt; and the River Hill High School band, under the direction of Steven Wampler.

New faces

Bryant Woods Elementary School welcomes new staff members Jeannette Smith, third-grade teacher; Kim Carey, reading and math teacher; Joanne Howard, reading teacher; Carolyn Dozat, ESOL teacher; Eileen Nadolski, special education teacher; Toby Johnson, speech pathologist; James Beale, instructional assistant; Judi Hunter, reading support teacher; and Dan Carr, psychology intern.

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