Welcome to Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s after-school program! We are located at 935 Edgehill Avenue in Nashville. We are excited to have your child(ren) with us in The Signing ACEs for the 2018-19 academic year! We are also excited to share with you that we have re-designed and re-focused our program so that we will be of more benefit to your child and to your family.
We are not a homework program. While students will have the opportunity to complete homework and will find supportive volunteers to assist, our goals are not about homework. Our primary goal is giving your child language—American Sign Language and reading and writing in English. This focus will give your child communication, access to new relationships, new materials, and new opportunities, and the ability to become a strong self-advocate and self-determined person. Language means being able to follow instruction in other academic subjects. It means being able to ask questions and to find answers on a variety of topics. It means being able to work independently and with others. We expect to see growth in your child’s expressive and receptive language in both ASL and English, growth in his/her reading level, and other, positive outcomes.
Our second focus is your child’s social-emotional well-being. We will have activities that promote building community, building self-awareness and self-esteem, good self-care, and making healthy choices. This focus includes access to successful adult models who are Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing. For our older students, we will also begin instruction in independent living skills.
Our third focus is community. We share special events and activities. We will talk about our lives and experiences. We will have fun!
Through all of this work and fun, your child will be surrounded by experienced, talented, and caring volunteers and staff—Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing—who will teach them, support them, nurture them, and keep them safe. Perhaps mostly importantly, they will find strong role models and advocates.
Our fourth and final focus is family. We consider ourselves a family at Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, but you are your child’s first and most important family. No one will ever have more impact on your child’s life, so we want to engage you and to support you. We will have parent meetings and workshops. We will offer parent-child ASL classes for free as well as hosting special family activities and outings, and we will have some clear expectations of the parents in our program as we move forward.
Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s after-school program is open to all Deaf and hard of hearing students as well as their hearing siblings. We serve students from 1st grade to 12th grade. We welcome culturally Deaf students who use ASL, deaf students who are oral and who wear cochlear implants, and hard of hearing students with hearing aids. We respect all choices and love all children. We have found that all our children eventually begin to use ASL. While we will not provide direct instruction in ASL if it is not your wish, we find the children desire to communicate with one another and pick it up on their own. It is beautiful to see in action, and in keeping with best practices and recent recommendations from the CDC and other hearing loss experts, we do not discourage communication or language acquisition.
Our program is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. while Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) are in session. We follow their calendar and inclement weather days.
If you have more than one child who will be participating in The Signing ACEs this academic year, please fill out a separate form for each child.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
Lacey Mathis, 615-800-2302, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Hunt, 615-248-8828-ext.119, email@example.com
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