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From:  Valerie Sutton
Date:  Sun Nov 15, 1998  3:25 pm
Subject:  Re: intoduction

> Hello! my name is Kelly Read and I am new to the list and thought I
>would introduce myself. Currently I am taking ASL 4 at Riverside
>Community College in Riverside California. I was searching for ideas for a
>topic for my end of the year presentation when I found this web sight.
>I hadn't heard much about signwriting before, although I had seen it
>somewhere (I don'tt remember where). I thought it would be an
>interesting topic for my presentation. As I have read more about
>signwriting, however, I have a feeling I will take it a lot farther. I
>think it is a wonderful idea! I fell involve with ASL. I have really
>enjoyed studding the grammar and structure of it and agree that
>signwriting will help preserve asl literature, history, and hopefully
>increase literacy in deaf children. I have ordered some books from the
>web-sight and hopefully I am on my way to becoming a signwriter myself.
> best wishes, kelly post to all

November 15, 1998

Hello Kelly!
What a nice introduction. Welcome to the SignWriting List :-)

I was telling the List last week that, at the moment, all of our
SignWriting materials are produced and shipped by me....thus your Lessons
In SignWriting Textbook, which you ordered last week, was just shipped
yesterday. Sorry for the delay!

But things are changing around here, and I feel very encouraged. We are
starting to receive an increase in special book orders from bookstores,
from individuals who have heard of SignWriting and want to find a book on
it in the bookstore. At the moment none of our SW books are available in
bookstores, so people are now starting to request special orders through
them. Where do the bookstores find out about us? On the web! Of course the
sales are still very small, but I feel hopeful it may build. This means a
lot, because book sales will bring in the needed income to be able to
continue the SignWriting Literacy Project. As you know, participating
schools in the Literacy Project receive donated books and videos. So it is
very important for us to raise funds to keep the Literacy Project free for

Another development...we have a new school system officially participating
in 1999, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I believe two mainstreaming schools
from the Albuquerque Public School District will be learning SignWriting in
the Spring semester, 1999. I will be posting their confirmation letter, and
more information about this, at a later date.

And we have a list of schools asking for information about the SignWriting
Literacy Project. When I first began the project in January, 1998, I had no
idea there would be interest. It took time to develop the books and
materials, and to work out details with the participating teachers. The
Fall 1998 semester was the first official semester of the project.

After I shipped off all of the donated materials to the schools back in
August and September, I had to decide what to do...Did we want to continue
with the project? But now that we have had such positive feedback, both
private and public, I have decided to focus on keeping the project going
for the next decade. That is a dedication of my love and time, since I am
not paid to run the project. But I think it is worthwhile and I am glad to
do it - in fact I feel very fortunate to be able to contribute to society.

And I hope all of you will continue to help me slowly build toward the goal
of testing Sign Language Literacy in the schools. I know, as a bilingual
person (English-Danish), that it would have been very difficult for me to
learn to read and write my second language, Danish, before learning to read
and write my first language, English. And yet we ask this of native signing
children daily. They must learn to read and write English, but it is their
second language...and on top of that...they can't hear their second
language. And their first language, a signed language, until now, had no
way to be placing written signs and written words on a page
side by side may be very helpful. Of course, that is the point of the SW
Lliteracy test that concept and then publish the feedback from
the teachers, to see if there is merit in the idea.

My dear Mom is visiting from Florida right now, and will be leaving on
Wednesday :-(

So I feel a little torn between work and visiting with my family. But I
will try to post our new Lesson Online tomorrow as scheduled. I will
announce it when the posting is ready.

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone -

Valerie :-)

Valerie Sutton at the DAC
Deaf Action Committee for SW


Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA

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