Last year, I was fortunate to be able to go out to Eastern Greene Elementary School, to interview a second grade teacher named Larry Leonard. By chance, I had been assigned to cover a dinner being held at the Event Center, and I happened to be seated across from Eastern Greene Schools Superintendent, Ted Baechtold and his wife. Baechtold told me about Mr. Leonard’s second grade dual immersion ASL class, in which students are taught for half of the day in spoken English, and completely in American Sign Language for the second half.
I was immediately intrigued by the idea, and contacted Mr. Leoneard to arrange for a class visit. I was delighted to see Leonard in action, and fascinated to watch the class as they played card games, had a math lesson and basically acted like second graders, only cooler.
One little girl named Kyanna caught my eye, as she noticed the spiders on my shoes and taught me the sign for ‘spider’.
The world needs more teachers like Mr. Leonard, who, as I explain in this issue of the newspaper, took his class to the Indiana School for the Deaf in Indianapolis, enriching these kids lives by showing them the very people they are learning to communicate with.
In honor of American Sign Language Day, I salute Mr. Leonard, Mr. Baechtold and Eastern Greene Schools, GOOD JOB!