beyond the classroom
Partnering with Lincoln Elementary School
ASD students join Lincoln Elementary students in their spring performance In the fall of 2009, Jen Burwin, a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in New Britain, CT, wanted to teach her class sign language. In order for her students to fully embrace the language, she felt it would be helpful for them to interact with deaf children of the same age. She contacted Linda Leimberger at ASD and a relationship began between the two schools.
The students meet throughout the school year, doing various activities together. Last spring Linda’s ASD class was invited to Lincoln Elementary to perform a signing/singing production of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”. Parents and students enjoyed the performance, and it was a first for the Lincoln Elementary music teacher teaching a song in sign as well as voice!
Enhancing Literacy through a Partnership with the Montessori School of Greater Hartford The Montessori School of Greater Hartford has been a part of the ASD campus for many years. For the 2009-2010 year, students from ASD are teaming up with students from the Montessori in a program which will expand the auditory component in the classroom; optimize the potential of language-learning experiences by increasing exposure to spoken English and establish a partnership with neighboring hearing peers. 37
Primary and elementary students have been selected to meet twice a week with Montessori students during recess, lunch and assigned reading activities. While in its exploratory stage, the end goal of this program is to enhance literacy by increasing listening skills in a classroom setting; develop conversational skills through social interactions; and develop self-advocacy skills with hearing peers while still recognizing the value of sign language and ASD’s special instructional approach.