SignWriting In USA Directory


Caldwell Elementary School
Hearing Impaired Program

5528 East Boston
Wichita, Kansas, 67218

Teacher: Diana Smith

Confirmation Letter

Web Report #1:
Why Do You Want To Use SignWriting?

Teacher Feedback
Email Messages From Diana...

March 5, 1998

Valerie Sutton
Deaf Action Committee For SignWriting
P.O. Box 517
La Jolla, CA. 92038-0517

Dear Valerie,

The staff of the Hearing Impaired Program at Caldwell Elementary School in Wichita, Kansas, would like to participate in your SignWriting Literacy Project. We are part of the USD 259 Public School System. Our program has existed in this system for approximately 35 years. There is also a program at the junior high and senior high level in our system.

We have students with hearing impairments in preschool through 5th grade at this school. Some of our students are in self-contained classes while others are in the mainstream. The time in mainstream varies from one hour to full day. Four of our teachers would like to introduce SignWriting to their students. All these teacher's have a master's degree in deaf education and many years of teaching experience (5-25 years). Each teacher has one to three students in his or her class that would be part of the project.

We are always looking for ways to develop and increase our student's literacy levels.
Thank you for considering us for your project.

Diana Smith, Teacher

Web Report #1

Sun, 17 May 1998
Diana Smith

To: SignWriting Literacy Project
Valerie Sutton

From: Caldwell Elementary
Wichita, KS

RE: Web Report #1

1. Why do you want to learn SignWriting?
We want to learn SignWriting in order to reach more of our deaf children. Many of the children that we teach are multicultural. Sign language may or may not be used in the home. We are looking for a way to increase the literacy level of our students.

2. What have been some of your past frustrations when teaching? Reading and writing are difficult when you do not have a command of the language in which the story or article is expressed. SignWriting can give the children a method of expression on which to build English, which is a necessity in our society. SignWriting can enable the children to learn different styles of expression in their native language and thus make understanding English a little easier.

3. Are you hoping that SignWriting might help? If so, in what way?
We believe SignWriting can benefit not only the deaf children but also their teachers and parents. It will be a way to share ideas with someone else. Every language needs a written expression to preserve ideas as they were expressed. Personal stories and expressions can be shared from home and school in precisely the way that they were expressed.

4. How would you like to use this web page?
We would like to use the web page to send pictures of our students using SignWriting and to communicate our progress. It would be an excellent way for the children to set up pen pals with other deaf students. It would be interesting to compare how ideas might be expressed in SignWriting from different areas of the United States and possibly build a bridge to other countries.

5. Please write any other information about your group.
As a staff we welcome the participation of our students' parents in projects that we are incorporating in our school program. Language and communication really take off when the students can see it in every aspect of their lives. Through our parent organization and letters to the homes, we will share this program. We hope to receive feedback from the parents. We also would like to have input from the Deaf community in our city. We have started a program where deaf adults come and read or tell stories to our students once a week. One of these readers has expressed an interest in SignWriting when it was shown to her.