American Sign Language (ASL)

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Purpose: Members of the Western High School American Sign Language, ASL, Club work hard to dispel the myths surrounding deafness, deaf culture and American Sign Language.  One of the Clubs goals is to help less fortunate deaf children in our community. To achieve this, the club devises and participates in, meaningful local projects and school activities. The Members hold fund-raising activities for many worthwhile causes such as sending gift certificates to needy deaf children during December.

For the past nine years, ASL Club members participated in a Walkathon to help promote programs that benefit the Deaf and disabled in our community. Last October our members raised over $3,000 and the top fundraisers enjoyed a pizza party.  ASL Club members annually visit the Boys and Girls Club and Flamingo Elementary to promote literacy while teaching young students basic sign language.   For the past nine years, ASL Club members participated in a pen pal program where they write back and forth to Middle school deaf/ hard of hearing students or students enrolled in middle school ASL classes. This helps them to bridge the gap between the deaf and hearing as well as to continue to promote literacy. In order to culminate this project, a silent gathering is arranged where all the pen pals finally meet in person. This year the event will be held in the spring.  It has always been a worthwhile experience for everyone. Many friendships are formed and many of these students ask to have the same pen pal for the next school year.

This past year, ASL club members have donated $900.00 in order to support the Harvest Drive and $900.00 to help support the Schott Communities. Last year we also raised money to help the Alliance for families with Deaf Children, The Invisible Children and Women in Distress.  Every December students visit classrooms at Western to teach winter related signs, sign songs and spread good cheer.  This past year we distributed over two thousand candy canes.  Last but not least, the ASL Club hopes to instill both respect and a positive attitude for ASL and the Deaf Community by helping to educate peers at Western High and in our community.

Staff Sponsor: Riva Markowitz and Vanessa Garces

2011-2012 Board Members:

President - Jenna Fazio

VP - Claudia Luna

Corresponding Secretary - Elizabeth Navarrete

Recording Secretary - Alexandra Peterson

Treasurer- Makaila McPhee

Board Assistant - Carla Larriviere

Historians - Jenna Fazio and Elizabeth Navarrete

Fundraing Coordinator - Claudia Luna

Meetings: The general ASL Club meeting will be held at 7 am every other Wed. morning in room 606.

Upcoming Events: The ASL Club will be participating in the 2011 Schott Communities 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The proceeds from this event will be used to support Schott Communities' progralms and services. They strive to create an environment of dignity and care in which persons who are deaf, blind, or disabled are encouraged and challenged to grow in self-acceptance and independence. If you would like to participate in this worthwhile event, please stop by room #606 for the information. You will also be elligible to receive service hours.

If you have any questions regarding the ASL Club please feel free to stop by room #514 any morning before school or email Mrs. Markowitz at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .