CEID is thrilled to continue and expand our successful partnership with Prospect Sierra, an independent TK-8 school in El Cerrito. For over 13 years, Prospect Sierra’s third grade classes have been working with CEID through a “buddy program” as part of their service learning curriculum. Throughout the school year, Prospect Sierra third graders visit CEID Toddler and Preschool students at least once a month to play, build vocabulary through sign language and spoken language, and practice communicating with each other.
This time is enriching and educational for Prospect Sierra students and CEID students. The third graders learn sign language and communication strategies, increase their understanding of the world as experienced by deaf and hard of hearing children, while also learning about assistive technologies like hearing aids and cochlear implants. CEID’s young students enjoy having older friends to play with and are motivated to show off their skills!
Integral to the curriculum is learning about deaf culture and communication. With help from CEID Toddler Teacher, Isabel White, Prospect Sierra 3rd graders are learning sign language to strengthen the program and further allow the students to connect and mutually learn from one another. Isabel visits the campus at Prospect Sierra twice per month teaching signs that will help the third graders engage their CEID buddies and support language development. Isabel incorporates various activities into her lessons such as teaching fun songs to sign and sing with the CEID students.
When describing the experience Isabel shared “I love getting to know the Prospect Sierra 3rd graders and their teachers while building on our work by teaching sign language. When the idea was proposed that I teach the Sign Class, my first thought was that it would a great way to further deepen how the PS children interact with our CEID children during their buddy visits. My hope is that the signs they learn in class will be immediately useful to them when they come to play with their buddies, creating a much more rich and meaningful experience for everyone. I appreciate the openness and curiosity of the students; they ask thoughtful questions, are excited to learn a new language, and cannot wait to see and work with their buddies during their visits!”
We look forward to the continued success of this impactful community partnership as the school year continues.