Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language

by Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
Help A Deaf Child In Mexico Learn Sign Language
6 Years Under Our Belt - Year #7 Begins
6 Years Under Our Belt - Year #7 Begins
Proudly, Our 7th Year Begins
August brought students together with great purpose and promise. The new school year witnessed many older students poised to graduate, others advancing to higher levels and several more joining EEESMA for the first time to learn Mexican Sign Language and much, much more.
Chess Classes
 A child who is introduced to chess at a young age is likely to do better in school for years to come. Research shows that playing chess improves a child's thinking, problem-solving, reading, and math scores. Educators and chess experts generally agree the second grade is the ideal time to introduce children to chess, although some as young as four or five may be ready to learn and play.
 
Steven Cohen, volunteer in the EEESMA carpentry workshop, loves chess and wanted to share his passion of the game with all the students. He also knew how much they would benefit from both learning and playing. Recruiting the help of the local San Miguel Chess Club, and along with the teachers and other volunteers, chess classes at EEESMA were born.
 
The chess classes are scheduled to take place once a week and all look forward to the fun and brain exercise! Thank you Steven for introducing a new dimension of learning and enjoyment for all.
Abril loving chess
Abril loving chess
Angelica learning the moves
Angelica learning the moves

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Although school may be out for the summer, Laura and Fernanda never tired in their desire to learn new things, especially when it involves one of their favourite pastimes, learning to sew and embroider. During the early part of August, and before the school opened for the new school year, they attended school for a week to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about fashion design, pattern making and sewing. Most everyone else, teachers and students alike, were at home resting up and enjoying their summer break while waiting for the new fall term to start, but Laura and Fernanda knew they had more they wished to learn! 

Accomplished designer, Aurelio Garcia Selgado, made a trip from Irapuato to tutor both young women, offer his advice and pass along valuable skills and techniques. As you will see from the photos, the result was two very well designed and trendy dresses styled for young women of Laura and Fernanda's age group. Dresses they would enjoy wearing themselves and they knew others would love to wear also. Their future goals include a career in fashion design which involves learning the process from start to finish and creating the designs with their own hands. This is a lofty goal indeed! These two young women know how to dream big!

At the end of each regular school day after academic classes are finished, Laura and Fernanda have also been studying sewing in one of three Vocational Training Workshops offered at EEE. The sewing workshop has been a means for Laura and Fernanda and their classmates to learn valuable job skills to prepare them for employment in the outside hearing world . 

Their big dreams didn't start with fashion design however. Laura and Fernanda, along with other classmates, are very near completion of their on-line high school courses at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende and will receive their graduation diplomas in a few short months. Both have been studying diligently and with the help of dedicated teachers, who explain and guide their lessons in Mexican Sign Language and written Spanish, will achieve something that few who are Deaf in Mexico ever achieve; they will graduate high school! 

It is through the generousity of donors like you that Laura and Fernanda have been able to pursue their dreams of achieving a good level of education as well as learning how to begin to prepare for a career in fashion design. Thank you to all who have helped them and others at the school. You are offering hope and inspiration to young people who are Deaf; helping them to be all they can be and allowing them to learn what they love.

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Angelica with best friends Miguelito and Maricruz
Angelica with best friends Miguelito and Maricruz

Being a girl in her preteen years usually means dealing with many “growing up” challenges. With Angelica these challenges don’t appear quite so obvious, at least on the surface, although having the challenge of deafness might be the one factor that overrides all others. Angelica will turn 13 years old on the 28th of August. She had a late start to school, arriving at Escuela de Educacion Especial (EEE) two years ago with very little sign language or reading skills. For children who are Deaf these skills are inexplicably entwined.

Without the introduction of language at an early age, usually between the age of two and three years, all children will begin to loose the ability to advance to the reading stage of development. As time passes, the gap continues to grow. As we all know, hearing children learn to talk by listening to and mimicking others. Likewise Deaf children who have others communicating with them in sign language are also able to develop the ability to process language, and if this is achieved at a young age, they too will learn to read and later to write. Getting an early start with sign language is essential to achieving future academic success. 

Angelica may not have had this advantage but we know she has many other talents, that if nurtured, will brighten her future. In addition to providing an education, teaching her important life skills and introducing vocational training at the appropriate time will help her become more independent as she moves into adulthood. An enthusiastic and caring child, Angelica loves school, learning new things and spending time with her friends. Angelica attends primary classes with younger children but fits in well. Her best friends are Miguelito and Maricruz, both eight year olds. They happily help her to learn new word signs and with arithmetic. EEE provides Angelica with the opportunity to spend time with others who understand her and can communicate with her. She comes to school with her mother by bus from a community nearby. She has two sisters and her father works in the United States and she hopes to visit the United States someday. Angelica loves to draw in her spare time and wants to be an artist when she grows up. Her favourite subjects at school are arithmatic and Spanish and, not surprisingly, her absolutely favourite thing is to be with her school friends. 

Please join us in helping to bring more children to Escuela de Educacion Especial so they too will have the opportunity to learn Mexican Sign Language and to read and write Spanish. Education and vocational training are these children's ticket to living and working more independently as they grow into adults. I’m sure you will agree, all Deaf children deserve the opportunity to succeed and live a fulfilling life.  

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Jacobo in class
Jacobo in class
Where would any of us be without our language? It forms such an important part of who we are. No matter if the language is Spanish, French, English, Chinese, Sign Language, or any other, it forms for each of us a piece of our identity. The Deaf community attach an even greater significance to their language because it is so specialized and creates an idenitity that is quite unique among its relatively small population. There are approximately 70 million Deaf in the world who use Sign Language as their first language. They are represented in every country throughout the world; each having its own particular Sign Language. Here, where we are, it is Mexican Sign Language (Lengua de Señas Mexicana or LSM).
Verbal language begins naturally at approximately age two to three years; while babies as young as one year old are able to imitate simple signs. If a child is Deaf and not given Sign Language at an early age the development of language as a whole will be slower over their lifetime. The part of the brain where language grows slowly turns off and their ability to learn language in later years, written Spanish for example, is much more difficult. 
Which brings us to the story of Jacobo. He is a typical energetic and curious four year old learning LSM for the very first time. His family brings him to Escuela de Educación Especial from a city which is an hour away by bus because EEE is the only school of its kind in the State. To get to school for an 8am start he is up with his mother at 6am; not always an easy thing for a four year old! His mother tells us that he loves to come to school. Jacobo is fortunate because his parents understand the importance of his learning language early and they sacrifice alot to bring him to school everyday. At EEE he will be continually taught LSM, participate in pre-school learning activities and in later years be taught a range of academic subjects including Spanish from qualified teachers; all through Sign Language. We know he is a very smart little guy, as he keeps everyone around him on their toes and with smiles on their faces! His teachers explain that his integration and behavior have improved since he first started school four months ago. He is adapting well and is learning more self discipline. Jacobo is in the imitation stage of Sign Language and understands much of what is told to him in signs. He is very smiley and mischievous, and also very cuddly and affectionate. He loves to play outside with carts and put together puzzles and lego. 

Will you help by offering a scholarship to Jacobo and his family so he is able to attend EEE now and into the future? You are in a position to give Jacobo a better chance for a brighter future. A future where he can communicate easily with others in Sign Language, be a part of a Deaf culture that understands and accepts him and where he can realize his full potential by receiving a good education. We know there are so many other children in outlying communities that would also benefit from attending EEE. We will continue to reach out to each of them and help bring them to a safe place where they will have an opportunity learn language, as Jacobo will. 
Puzzle time
Puzzle time
Puzzle fun
Puzzle fun
Playing with Maricruz
Playing with Maricruz
More play
More play
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Organization Information

Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende AC

Location: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato - Mexico
Website:
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Project Leader:
Sharon Doherty
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato Mexico
$40,164 raised of $45,000 goal
 
412 donations
$4,836 to go
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