The videobooks represent an inexhaustible source of ideas to promote reading. This time, the idea was to invite all deaf children, youth and adults throughout in the country to participate in the second Storytelling Contest in Argentine Sign Languaje (LSA).
The announcement was made nationally and the competition was split into two categories: Storytelling and Reading. We found it interesting to include these categories to reinforce the idea that storytelling and reading are two different processes that require different strategies. Each of these categories was also divided by age: up to 14 years and from 15 years.
To design, spread and develop the idea Canales called three deaf people who have experience in editing videos and developing stories. Two of them come from deaf families, two have participated as readers in videobooks and one has participated in the first contest of stories we did in 2007.
We received 154 stories that were sent by deaf adults, children and adolescents from 20 different schools spread in seven provinces of our country.
The eight winners have been honored at the awards ceremony that was held at the Argentine National Congress. Over 250 deaf children from across the country participated from that Ceremony. We invite you to meet the winners through the pictures we took during the event. More pictures can be seen at http://goo.gl/d5bXF
The second part of this initiative will be editing the eight winning stories on a DVD that will be distributed in the schools.
Have you seen the interactions between deaf adults and deaf children in VIDEOBOOKS' page? (www.videolibros.org.ar).
In the whole collection of books available in this web site, there can be seen interactions between a deaf adult and a deaf child regarding the importance of reading and the right of all kids to access children's literature.
The new series of books that is about to be spread will be different. In these series of classic stories the introduction and the ending of each book is done by DEAF ELDER LADIES, who belong to the Argentinean Association of deaf women Casa Hogar.
We decided to include deaf grandmothers because most deaf children have little chance of having contact with older deaf adults. Since parents and grandparents are in 95% of the cases hearing persons who do not know sign language, most deaf children never have the opportunity to be told a fairy tale from their grandfathers or grandmothers. Through this initiative we will try (even if only for the duration of a story) to give deaf children the opportunity to learn that the deaf community is also composed of older deaf people, and these people can read books.
For this part of the project, we moved all Canales filming devices (camcorder, tripod, lights and computer) to Casa Hogar Association . The first step after installing the film set was to show on a screen the flipbook in sign language. It was exciting to see that many of the adult women who participated did not know these stories and was the first time they could gain access to reading. After showing each story, the participants discussed in pairs, a conversation for the introduction and closing the book, they practiced it and one of the couples was selected to film each book. Many of these ladies are not fluent signers because they were educated by reading lips and tongue sound emission, so some of them could not act in the filming.
The same steps were taken for each of the videobooks except the last one, Little Red Riding Hood, because the ladies were tired.
We believe these actions will benefit deaf children and also adults: children will grow up with these stories and may fell identified with the grandparents who tell the stories, which surely will have a positive impact on their adult lives.
It is also our intention to spark the interest of deaf grandmothers and grandfathers (elderly and not so elderly) so that after seeing these video books, they multiply the reading in all areas where there are deaf children. We also hope that hearing grandparents may find a way to communicate with their deaf grandchildren and establish a communication bridge between them through the pleasure of reading. For that reason the videobooks include voiceover.
We share some photos that you'll like!
We continue developing videobooks of classic tales in Argentine sign language.
Why do we choose classic tales?
Because they endure over time and keep their value over the centuries. This is very important for deaf children as it is a great way to share culture with other kids their age. In addition, classic stories are invaluable because its themes address problems that concern boys and girls treating the issues with simplicity and enriching their lives.
Good and bad are always present. Virtue, goodness, beauty and sibling rivalries (as in Cinderella), power, jealousy and malice (Snow White), the fairy godmothers that protect against witchcraft (Sleeping Beauty), the dangers of seduction (Little Red), the fear of being abandoned (Hansel and Gretel) and even the fear of the death of the parents (Cinderella) are values that acquire significance through the readings.
The difficulties are distressing and inevitable but tales that end "happily ever after" are a part of life and act on readers building life criteria without anyone having to explain how.
These stories circulate socially and are part of the culture and concepts of a community. In order to make it possible for deaf children to have the opportunity of enjoying and shearing them with their family and friends who can listen, at this stage we are recording voice-overs. That way, deaf kids in schools with children who can listen and parents that have deaf children but do not know sign language, will be able to share the stories.
The voice-over is an important part of this new series thus we have invited people from the artistic world to join this task. We bet that if hearing people recognize the voice of a famous person, they will be more encouraging with children to enter the site and learn about the books.
In this particular course of action, the photos attached show the famous TV host and Film, TV and Theatre actor, Fabian Gianola to whom we summoned to record the voice over of "The Ugly Duckling".
The Ugly Duckling
Continuing our series of videobooks, we filmed The Ugly Duckling. This time the deaf reader was Fernando.
Fernando comes from a family in which all members are deaf and so he has been lucky enough to communicate with their parents since childhood. The majority of readers who are participating in this project have deaf parents because that is what ensures the quality of the sign language they use.
It is important for deaf children to access not only the stories, but to do so through a rich sign language, that includes metaphors, an extended vocabulary and that transmits the culture and the beliefs of the deaf community.
The Ugly Duckling was also present at the Festival that was held on International Day of the Deaf. Fernando told the tale for children and adults, deaf and hearing, and afterwards deaf children and their parents were invited to choose one of the characters of the story to stand with it for a photo.
It was very interesting how deaf adults enjoyed the story as much as children. Very few deaf people know children stories and for most of them this project offers them the opportunity to access for the first time to the classic tales through their natural language.
We invite you to look at the pictures of the Festival as we move forward with new classic tales!
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