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Tag Archives: Christian School for the Deaf

TUTORING BEGINS TUESDAY

August 10th, 2020

While we all are under the Covid19Cloud, we are still working to get our students back into the school year schedule as soon as possible.

Our original plan had been to have full-time classes beginning TOMORROW, Tuesday 11 August.  BUT we will be continuing our tutoring schedule for this semester.  One student at a time.  No mingling. Working from distance of 6 feet as often as possible.

Today, we are doing last minute preparations – locating the missing math book, trying to figure out phonics for our partially hearing children, making horizontal spaces empty so they are easier to clean between tutoring sessions. We are trusting God that all things will come together for His glory even as I feel like I am stumbling around in the clutter of the classroom today!

In an effort to help our students learn at home (they LOVE youtube!)  we have been preparing videos as part of review and homework. Praying that parents will join them in watching and will learn the signs too. Pray with us for this school year. We are praying for the other schools on the island and the restrictions on numbers.

Personally, I am thanking God that our numbers are limited and our ability to serve the young students is excellent.  We have three adult deaf learners waiting for their turn in the tutoring schedule so pray with me for willing signing Spanish-English speaking volunteers to help out with those desiring to improve their skill sets.

 

week 8 of our semester

March 4th, 2020

To be seriously honest, not much has changed in the past few weeks.  Students come to school.  They learn.  They go home.  They return. It’s the cycle of school days and learning experiences.

To be SERIOUSLY honest, I think I, Betsy, the director, am learning the most in recent days.  I have been learning to listen to that quiet voice of God… sometimes I mistake MY INNER YELLING for His Voice so I am constantly trying to remain in prayer and discern WHAT is God doing, WHERE is He leading, WHAT would He have me to do or to say? Life with Christ is an amazing adventure and I am so thankful to be walking the journey of LIFE in His Way and Truth.

Yesterday (March 3)  I, Betsy, had minor surgery to remove a not really small but not worth a skin transplant basal cell carcinoma on my cheek. I did not announce it much beforehand.  I didn’t want to be asked  “WHERE is it?  Can I see it? Oooh Eeew” So I canceled our youngest student for the day and got a crew of others to handle the classroom. I drove myself to the office.  Had the procedure and drove back to the school in time to enjoy Tacos on Tuesday ( a regular menu item so come any Tuesday and join us!)

Today, I had a full classroom (THREE students – ages 7,16 and 28) who each had their own glitches to handle. One could not remember the letter R.  Another could not remember when or how to use a chair.  The other was lost in wonder over a pendulum experiment.  I spent much of the morning holding a cold pack on my bandage/incision as I felt rather pained.

But we learned together and eventually, the one remembered how to print an R and spell that word. The other found a chair and SAT on it.  And the pendulum student?  Well, there is much to be learned in physics and I am praying that happens!

Mostly, I am praying that my staff and I are able to show God’s constant LOVE and LIGHT in the lives of our children. Even when we are feeling pained by a surgical incision or the lack of memory for a word having the letter R, we can still be LOVING and sharing His light. With great JOY I hear my students say, “I MISSED YOU on the weekend”.  With great sadness, I hear my students say, “I missed you on the weekend”.  For our students, many times the only person listening, really listening to them, is one of the staff here. Families are busy places.  Parents are wrapped up in their stuff. But for a few minutes daily, we are able to take time to say, “What are you concerned about?  Let’s pray together.”  Our students KNOW we are here for them.

In the light of eternity, THAT is what we are meant to be doing.

October Fridays

October 18th, 2019

Friday, October 11, we were blessed to have only ONE student in attendance. That student took an interest in this millipede so millipedes became the focus of the day.  Today is October 18 and we are blessed to have only TWO students in attendance. They were given the opportunity for FIX YOUR FOOD FRIDAY and learned (or helped) to make chili for today’s lunch.

Sometimes, having a small number of students is a blessing.  We are able to spend time to chat about THEIR specific lives and needs and trials and joys. Often we have too many children and not enough hands to put into their learning.  More and more students coming to us, as a special school, have multiple needs in addition to being Deaf. What a joy when we have one on one time and can share in their lives specifically, learn more about them and pray with them alone.

Pray with us for the special needs of the Deaf in Puerto Rico.

We are excited to have our regular Friday handbell rehearsals and the dedication of the adult Deaf persons who are participating in that. They have their work and their families and yet have this desire for music.  One of them told me, “I work and I am stressed all week but I have THIS BELL TIME in my mind and look forward to this time all week.”

Praise God that through the ministry of handbells, this person’s emotional needs are being cared for.

September 2019!

September 11th, 2019

I have attempted several times to update this blog and every time, some internet monkey stops my progress.  Hoping today will be different and hoping that you have been praying for the ministry in spite of our lack of updates.

Last Wednesday after lunch, the two older students decided to try volleyball while the two little boys were trying baseball. Carlos, our groundskeeper was trimming and three dogs played nicely together.  Will wonders never cease!

Our days are HOT and we are so thankful for the tropical storms passing by out of our range.  A small breeze would be welcome but let me tell you, I am happy to not have had the BIG storm here.

We are praying for the people in the Bahamas who are now experiencing WORSE conditions than we had in 2017. We cannot imagine having a storm sitting on us for 36 hours… incessantly pounding.  WOW.  The pictures we are seeing make all of us thankful here for the mountains that block winds and the cement structures which are most common. If you are interested in giving to someone who is already working for Kingdom Purposes in the Bahamas, I can recommend PRAYING PELICANS MINISTRY  OR CHAMPS MISSIONS .  Both of these ministries have connections already established with churches and people in the Bahamas.  I know the Praying Pelican ministry and a friend recommends the Champs Mission group. You can look into those or other places if you have a heart to help that island nation.

Check out Mike and Glenda Coupe’s most recent newsletter  to see what they are up to.  Right now, (Wednesday at 4:30) , Glenda is working with Natalia – 3 year old deaf girl – on ASL/language development while Mike is in the States.

Pray for our new student JJ – he is 8 years old and works hard to keep us working harder! Pray for wisdom as we will have him only for a few weeks – his dad is military and deployed somewhere so he and his mom are visiting family here until dad is home to be helpful with that hard work I mentioned in the last sentence!

thanks for your many prayers

 

 

 

August 2019

August 27th, 2019

Mizael came back to school

Check out the link above to read more about THAT topic.

Look who is hanging out at the school these days:

Gizmo the iguana!

Natalia – her broken arm has healed 100% without any apparent defect!

Zuleika who is learning and helping and growing in God’s amazing grace,

Diego who has an amazing smile and super-intelligent mind,

Mizael who is still having headaches (which are lessening in intensity) and he is pushing through them to have more time in school.

These are the regulars.  We have 4 students – one full-time teacher and two full-time volunteers.  Both of the volunteers help in the classroom as well as cooking and doing maintenance respectively.  As school principal, Betsy is so thankful for the faithful helpers who work alongside her to allow the school to have continuity and dependability.  Our students are all special needs and could be taught one on one all day if we had the resources.  Without the resources, we do a lot of  One Room Schoolhouse work.  The benefits are so cool as the older ones see how the younger ones think and the younger ones are challenged by the older students’ thinking.

Continue to pray for the school, for the students, the workers, the weather… a storm is in the area this week and we are hopeful that we will not have any lasting effects from it. Keep an eye on the weather and remember to pray for us.

Thanks!

Summer Workshop 2019

August 7th, 2019

Last week, we held a week-long ASL workshop.  We were pleased with the attendance and outcomes – more people signing with a little more confidence and new connections we have made with a pre-school were our little student Natalia will be attending!

Our school director, Betsy, was assisted by Valie Carrillo (our maintenance man) and Jennifer Woods (visiting ASL teacher from the States). With the occasional assist of Mike and Glenda Coupe, the class had plenty of models for great signing.  We played lots of games to keep everyone’s attention – the morning sessions were 3 hours – and to keep everyone learning. What a great week!

We are already thinking and scheduling for the 2020 version of the workshop so if you are interested in learning ASL and wanted to join us, let me know!

TALLERES en ASL

July 27th, 2019

We have the multi-purpose room ready for our summer workshop.

Estamos listos para los talleres de señas ASL.

 

 

 

 

 

Esperamos 12 personas a las 9 a.m. el lunes para el taller de maestros y/o personas aprendiendo ASL para sus professiones.

We are expecting 12 people at 9 a.m. on Monday for a workshop for teacher and/or people learning ASL for their jobs.

 

 

Por la tarde, tendremos un taller SILENCIOSO planificado para cualquier persona interesada en ampliar sus destrezas expresivas en señas.

In the evening, we will have a SILENT workshop for anyone interested in adding to their expressive skills in signing.

 

Si tiene interes, ven el lunes para juntarse con nosotros.

If you are interested, come on Monday to join us.

40th annual World Mission to the Deaf Conference

April 18th, 2019

WMD Conference June 8 2019

Click above link for a printable flyer.

June 8, 2019. 3:30 p.m.

Bob Rumball Centre of Excellence for the Deaf

Toronto Ontario Canada

Speaker: Gilberto Martinez,

former student of the Evangelical School for the Deaf

Pray for some little friends

March 7th, 2019

 

Needed:  one (or more) 7(ish) year old hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Diego on his educational journey.

His teacher is older than his grandmother and she needs some help in the PLAY department… The other students are older too and don’t exactly want to swing and play baseball during recess time. Pray with us for the next group of little ones to join in the learning fun.

Needed: one (or more) 2ish something hearing-impaired or Deaf children to accompany Natalie on her educational journey.

It’s just more fun to learn with a friend and have someone to talk with other than the older people around you.

We truly know that language is best learned in community.  We have established an environment that is linguistically rich and visually accessible for our students. Pray with us for the little ones in the area – we hear of some in public schools where they are not linguistically stimulated, where they are developing delays in their linguistic development due to the non-accessibility of a visual stimulus accompanying their language experience. Deaf children learn by SEEing and DOing.  Hearing children learn by hearing.   English and Spanish are but auditory languages.  They do not reach into the brains of a child who has a hearing loss of any significant levels.

And hearing aids don’t FIX things the same way glasses can fix things. My students all have hearing losses into the orange region of the audiogram at this LINK. They do not hear most of the speech sounds without extra help – that means raising my voice, using a hearing aid or other amplification. Most parents don’t take the time to look their hard-of-hearing/Deaf child in the face to have a conversation.  So the child misses out on 82.9% (totally off the cuff estimation) of what is said. They are left wondering, guessing, trying to fill in the blanks.

On the other hand, most parents don’t raise a HAND to help their hearing-impaired child:

About 90%of the deaf population has two hearing parents and 88% of those parents do not know sign language. LINK HERE

And so I know there are children experiencing LANGUAGE DEPRIVATION simply because someone told their parents that having an interpreter is the answer.  Suppose you don’t know ASL (American Sign Language) and you travel to China and you are given an ASL-Chinese interpreter.  How much are you going to learn about China from watching the ASL interpreter?

Exactly what a child who doesn’t KNOW ASL faces when watching someone batting their hands around in first grade.  The child MUST be in a place to learn the language so that they can then access the materials of learning. How does one learn a language? Come on, you know.  You learned a language.  You are reading this.  YES!  You learned by listening to your world from the time your ears developed (about week 16 of gestation inside your mom) you were learning the language of your world. But a child born deaf missed out on even that opportunity. Of course, some babies are born hearing and then lose the sense through trauma… but alas, without a language, they are left behind.

And so, would you pray for those children who are in this area, on this island?  Because we have some lovely little ones here beginning to learn ASL and speaking and communicating in glorious ways… and my heart breaks every time I meet a small child who is SO isolated because the significant forces at work for the child haven’t grasped the idea that LANGUAGE development is IMPERATIVE to life experience and learning.

Thanks for praying.  Thanks for your interest.

Thanksgiving Celebrated with the Students

November 16th, 2018

The BIG NEWS of the day is NO CLASSES NEXT WEEK!  Monday, November 19 is the celebration of Columbus’ arriving to Puerto Rico, thus we are closed.  Thursday is American Thanksgiving so we are closed Thursday and Friday.  The public school system did not see it necessary to open for 2 days so we are closed for the week. SO Friday, November 16 we had a small Thanksgiving lunch with the students.  Diego was underwhelmed…he thought we were having a grand party.  THAT will be November 30.  If you in the area, come on by!

Now for an entertaining moment:

A theme around the school is NOT TO PLAY WITH. We use it regularly.  Natalia, our tiniest student, has learned that Roxy the brown dog is NOT TO PLAY WITH.  While doing a photo shoot for the school calendar (see ABOUT US/OUR CALENDAR), Roxy snuck up on Natalia and licked her cheek. Look at those pictures.  Does Roxy look like she was trying to get away with something there?

 

Later Natalia was seen closing herself into the classroom behind the security bars. We thank God that she was inside the NEXT day as it was rainy.  The large bull seen in the next picture frolicked in a panic through the courtyard mid afternoon. He is still in the lower field… maybe we don’t need to buy a new lawn mower after all!

For your amusement, our puppy Hephzibah (we call her Zyba) was last seen gnawing on conch shells she has removed from the plant beds. We toss them back into the foliage, she wrangles them back to the courtyard. Funny pup.