All posts by Betsy Hoke

Saturdays Fellowships are so fun!

March 4th, 2024

While we do not have any full-time traditional K-12 students, we do have a lot going on around here.  Call before you come or text to make sure someone will be here to meet you.  Our “office hours” are by appointment only.

Two things you can depend on are the second and fourth Saturdays of each month – we have fellowship days.  Stop by and join us in games, chat, crafts, a movie, food, a Bible study, a literacy class… all kinds of options to challenge your brain!

Check out our Bible Memory Verse page also!  We are working to improve our minds and literacy skills by memorizing Bible verses.

February 2024

February 17th, 2024

We had a lot of rain at the end of January.

Our Wednesday student is picked up after school at her mainstreamed school and we work on ASL and speech and awareness of environmental sounds and CRAFTS!

 

 

 

In addition to tutoring this little girl, Betsy spends time online with ZOOM classes for other students too remote to come in person. We also have 9 ASL classes for a variety of groups through the week.  Betsy is working on a variety of projects including videos of the book  aprende señas conmigo and the Hear-Me-Read Bible. (videos available here)

We are down to ONE teacher – BETSY HOKE – who is taking care of her mother who is slowly sliding into dementia.  Betsy is thankful she can fulfill this role and asks your prayer for her as she serves both her mother and the Deaf community here. Betsy continues to teach those students who come and we are praying for new younger teachers – turning away students in need because of distance or lack of hands to work with them is sad.  GOD KNOWS and in His time, He will provide for these precious ones. She also works through her church in Fajardo with the Deaf Ministry there – interpreting services and Bible studies and meeting the Deaf adults for fellowship.

We also have a maintenance man – Dave Markle – on staff as a missionary. Dave serves the school and his local church with his skills at fixing things.  Dave has taken on the role of Work Team Coordinator/Host and we are seeing the return of mission groups, interpreter training groups and others interested in supporting Puerto Rico and her churches.  We are SO THANKFUL for Dave and God’s timing in bringing him to CSCD.

 

Every month we have Second and Fourth Saturday activities with the Adult Deaf community:   We have movie day on the Fourth Saturday and Fellowship day on the Second Saturday.  We open at 10 a.m. for Adult literacy classes – pray for these – many say they want to learn but most do not make it a priority. Have lunch together around 12:30 and then the afternoon activity. It’s a fun day and we are thankful we can do this.

 

 

 

 

Recently, a volunteer helped us make Valentine Cards – even the Deaf men joined in on this one!

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for praying along with us for the Deaf in Puerto Rico.  The needs may seem small but to those who have them the needs are pressing and scary. We are so thankful that our God knows and provides for each one and that FAITH is grown as we discern His Hand at work to protect, guide and provide.

Language Deprivation IS REAL

October 26th, 2023

Nothing changes here, it seems.

We continue to do the same old things week in week out and are SO THANKFUL for this cycle of working for our Saviour.

Read about Language Deprivation

Lives are changed here. One by one.

There are two guys in this picture: one is 4 and one is more than 4 😊 They are learning together. I, the head teacher and blog writer, am getting older and have a shoulder and thumb weakness now that are sometimes painful.  I asked our maintenance guy, Dave Markle (pictured), to help with this little boy’s first one on one time.

My previous experience with the little guy was very physically trying! So was this one until he settled down into some activities.

SO THANKFUL for a man on staff who is willing to work with kids. Little boys need men in their lives. And this gave me time to take ONE picture before our next activity.

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Read about our past students with Language Deprivation

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The lady on the left in this picture is Letty.  Letty never was allowed to go to school as a child. Parental concerns. Well, now she is learning.  She comes two Saturday mornings each month to learn with other deaf ladies and she comes every Tuesday to work on her own.

Letty’s husband is also Deaf.  He said, “Thank you!  My wife is starting to sign more clearly and talking about other things! She is spending less time paging through facebook videos and seems more alert!”

The lady teaching Letty is also Deaf.  She was so excited to be teaching. Seeing her abilities with Letty leads me to think, could she help with our little 4 year-old?   Now to try to get some transportation for her.

 

Language functions much like the Holy Spirit.

We can’t see the force behind it but we can see the impact of it. Someday, I would like to write the book about this.  Maybe one of you will do it for me.

There is so much we don’t know about the impact of language, but we see language deprivation at work in the two students mentioned above: A 4-year-old without language and a 74-year-old who has only minimal language skills.

 

Our ministry is to the few and the outcasts.

We call them marginalized today.

The ones that society doesn’t have time for but that Jesus still loves.

We need your prayers.  We need TEACHERS to come and work one on one with little biting children (to teach them to no bite and to be language role models) and with older adults who never had the opportunity.

Imagine seeing them READing God’s Word one day.  Then imagine that they can’t because there were not enough resources.  Then ask God what role you can play in this work. There where you are today or HERE where God may be calling you

This little boy is profoundly deaf and beginning to learn ASL with us.

Round and round we go!

September 20th, 2023

And so begins another round of education!

We are going back to PreK! In fact, Betsy is reviewing our webpages observing  Language  Development from  YEARS ago to remember how this works!

Read about a 4-year-old who came without functional language and then PRAY for this new boy and Betsy as they develop a relationship.  That little boy is now a senior in high school.

I am thankful that the family is involved in this boy’s learning – two sets of parents came for family ASL class.  The step-father knows a former student from here as a neighbor.  That is encouraging as the family can see a Deaf man who is successfully working, responsible and happy in his life and know that their son has a bright future.

His mom texted to say that the flashcards they have are posted around the house now and the little boy is excited to be looking at them and seeing the signs and learning them.

PRAY for Betsy as she is the age of a grandmother now. Chasing, wrestling, running, climbing off the floor, sitting in pre-school sized chairs are stretching her in physical ways! She is also developing some videos to help to teach this little boy and his family.  Pray for her creativity.

PRAY also for the next generation of teachers.  We have turned away students this semester due to not having teachers in the classrooms.  We would love to have Mikael as a full-time student. We have those two little girls (ages 5 and 6) who are mainstreamed right now but who are missing much of the spoken material that their teachers are trying to communicate. They will be in need of individualized education or small group teaching in the next few years.

GOD KNOWS and we are trusting Him with these needs.  Thanks for interceding for the Deaf of Puerto Rico!

August 2023 WrapUp

September 3rd, 2023

 

 

August swept past with a few days of “tropical systems” that cooled us for those few days.  The days I intended to work in the office, our street power was off and the way things are wired, that meant the office was un-electrified. Bummer, eh? So I got a little behind but here is our news for August!

ASL classes began in earnest. We are teaching 6 ASL classes to hearing students (5 classes in 2 private schools in person and one homeschool family Zoomer family) during ‘school hours’ weekly.  Also 3 biweekly adult ASL classes, and two ASL classes on Wednesday evenings. It’s fun to see the hearing people learning and then using their new knowledge in our social gatherings or in church!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began our literacy classes.

5 ladies came the first Saturday of our literacy program. Some are learning the alphabet and others are learning English as we use bilingual readers. We look forward to seeing them alternating Saturdays. They and the men who came but didn’t enter the classrooms agreed to attempt to learn to ‘read’ bell music so we may have a bell choir for Christmas!  2 of the ladies come every Tuesday for more tutoring.  What fun it is to have them come for the day to work and pray and have lunch together.

One of the men assured me he reads but asked if we could have Bible classes to deepen his walk with God. Oh my heart! As I pray for a male pastor/shepherd for our little flock, I also am preparing a Memorize The Verses: Be like a tree (Psalm 1:1-3. Jeremiah 17:8) challenge.  We have medals for the ones who do the memory work and we will celebrate their learning.

 

 

One of the hard parts of ministry is attending funerals.  Jose Vega, pictured with his lobster, died in August.

Many from the deaf community were able to attend his funeral and Pastor Luis Martinez spoke words of comfort to us all. Betsy was able to interpret the funeral service and graveside ceremony.

 

 

 

 

Glenda Coupe pictured here holding Natalia – died in August.  Click on her name or her photo for the link to more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

God KNOWS the part you play in the ministry and I want to thank you serving with our ministry. May God bless you for your contribution to our work. Without your prayers and practical gifts, we would not be serving God here as we do.

Thank you for your prayers as we continue to serve God here in Puerto Rico.

teaching online – our technology

July 18th, 2023

Teaching Online

Most of what I learned, I was taught by my student Mizael who developed his skills as a gamer. Best advice is listed here:

#1  get a camera separate from your laptop. Research what you want.  I wanted something that had speakers and good range for meetings as well as  teaching.

#2 add a second monitor so you can keep track of your Zoom window, your OBS window, your teaching resources. Everyone has to configure their monitors to their preference. I like to have my camera and ZOOM window as close as possible so it looks like I am looking AT my students.  Then I have my laptop just below the ZOOM window so I can glance down at my various windows and notes on my table.

If you haven’t used ZOOM – it’s simple. Nothing fancy to it.

OBS (online broadcasting software – is free!) took me some time to learn.  You will want a green screen (we have everything from a sheet to an actual popup screen) and sufficient lighting.   Think of the green screen as your whiteboard.  This will be behind you (or in front of you).  You will see it on the screen and can interact with it.  I still turn around thinking I will SEE the words on the screen and then run into the GREEN screen! There is a learning curve and I am learning.

I use my external fancy webcam in conjunction with OBS then set OBS as my webcam (start virtual camera). Watch a video and it will all come together for you. Lots of videos about setting up OBS and using the FILTERS to get your colors and resources all neatly organized.

#3 I find it helpful to have a document camera also.  I keep a sketchbook on the table to the right of my laptop and an assortment of markers and colors.  Sometimes I print the page we will be working on and use the doc cam to show what I want my student to do.  Sometimes I want them to draw a graph or diagram and I can show them a sample.  Sometimes I want to share a book I haven’t scanned yet. Document camera is a great asset.

#4 I prefer a mouse to a touchpad but now I have a touch screen and I am getting better at the touchpad.  Also I am learning to use a  pen+tablet as a mouse – it’s touchy so I haven’t gotten precise yet.

Amazon Kindle online reader

I use this almost every day – placing the window for the reading material on the OBS screen as a source and then reading, pointing out words.  Better still if the remote student has the book or accesses the material in their kindle or on their screen also.

OneDrive Live  

I upload everything to the cloud so I can share with my remote students. They can access the PDF files I make so we can work together.  Their moms most often print the pages which is nice.  I put the PDF on the OBS screen as a resource and then use a Huion Inspiroy H430P pen tablet to write on the actual PDF file on the computer.

Google Doc

I use a Google Doc every lesson to interact in writing with my students. I do this even if we are in class together so they can see their writing and my replies.  Save by NAME SUBJECT YEAR MONTH DATE SUBJECT and you will have files to go back to and reuse. Many classes, I change the NAME and reuse with another student.  I have to go through and remove personal references.  You could save a TEMPLATE and make life easier.  I tend to do things the hard way.

Here is a Google Doc I used to teach about this book: The Dog That Dug For Dinosaurs.  I hope the link works for you.

Here is a youtube video of me teaching a Bible verse.  I am have PowerPoint on the screen behind me. Used the external camera and recorded by OBS video.

Check out Christian School For the Deaf – YouTube for more videos we have done.

In another attempt, I added the captions using WonderShare Filmora software.

I am still working on how to use Google classroom.

I am still collecting resources like interactive games online that we can play.

These two have potential to share the site then draw, write, play tic-tac-toe together:  Sketchpad – Draw, Create, Share!     and   Ziteboard

 

 

 

 

 

2023 2024 school year

June 12th, 2023

As of this writing, June 12, 2023, we have NO (zero, none, nothing, zippo) students lined up for full-time classes in August.

#1  GOD KNEW THIS WAS COMING – Our God knows the past and the future.

How does a ministry called a SCHOOL run without students in the classrooms?  Well, we are looking at this as a sabbatical year for our director who has her last sabbatical in 1990 and who is beginning her 39th year of fulltime ministry at CSCD.  Our director has brought her mother to live with her as her mother is not able to live independently and that is adding to Betsy’s responsibilities.

We have two little Deaf girls who are in mainstreamed educational settings all day. We are working with them in tutoring situations for ASL as well as educational support.  We are working with the schools and holding ASL clubs there to increase the chances of the students using ASL.  We are working with the families to encourage their use of ASL at home.

#2 THE NEED for WORKERS IS STILL CLEAR – Pray with us for workers – who are fluent in ASL (and Spanish), able to teach, seeking to live for Christ alone, and desire to see the Deaf reached for Christ

We have started to teach ONLINE with some mothers from around the island – the driving distance from them to us is greater than 2 hours.  ZOOM sessions are helping us to reach into homes of Deaf babies and young people.  We are working on HOW to get together – or where to gather – so that the Deaf children can socialize and the parents can also hang out.  Maybe we will host an overnighter.  Pray for this please.

We are also continuing to teach ASL in the community and by ZOOM, working with our Adult Deaf Literacy program and recruiting new Handbell Ringers for our handbell choir – we have two members from last year who desire to continue – now we need 4 or 6 more to give us a complete ringing choir.

#3  GOD IS WORKING HERE

Our buildings are being used by a variety of churches and visitors – some local groups come for a weekend retreat, some work teams from the States come for an overnight on their way to a more distant destination in PR, other work teams stay here and work at CSCD doing maintenance, still others go out into the community to help churches, families, our Deaf community in whatever ways they need help.

Thank you for your prayers and please know that as our ministry changes with the times, we still hold to the power of God and His Word and our desire is for Him to be glorified!

 

the beginning of adult life!

2022-23 school year ends!

May 24th, 2023

In 2005 we met this little boy. He has been attending classes for 18 years – for real – preprepreschool preschool kindergarten thirteen years of grades 1 to 12 (there was a repeat when he had health issues and missed a school year) and finally  GRADUATION!

What joy to celebrate Mizael’s triumphs and growth academically, spiritually, and in character.

This roomful of friends and family gathered to support him in his victory and to pray with him for the NEXT thing.  As he makes his plans and shares them, we too will share with you.  Our celebration day included handbell pieces, awards, spiritual challenges and many tears as we said GOODBYE and GOD BLESS YOU to Mizael and his family.

Because ministry is never FINISHED, we are already making plans for the summer ministry season – in-person and remote ASL classes are lining up for many parents of Deaf infants – THANK GOD that they are learning ASL NOW as their Deaf babies need to see their families signing!  Pray for these parents and for our ability to reach them from a distance – pray for volunteers who would be willing to be paired as an ASL tutor with a Spanish-language Puerto Rico-living parent of a Deaf child.  Pray also for volunteers who would be willing to work with an adult Deaf person (or teenaged Deaf kid) to teach English and ASL skills. Distance is not a problem now – we are all learning ZOOM and video chat methods to meet from anywhere! Send an e-mail to cscdluquillo@gmail.com and let’s make a plan for YOU to get involved!

Our online giving platform is working for us – we made a change in April and are now up and running at

2023 02 update

February 3rd, 2023

Four weeks of classes into the semester.  We have been BUSY.  Our director/webkeeper was called away at the end of 2022 due to a death in her family so we apologize for not updating the website as is our custom. In the end, the deceased is believed to be eternally content in Jesus’ presence while those still remaining on the planet are working through steps to keep moving ahead.

Natalia knows none of this of course.  She had her 6th birthday while we were on Winter Holidays and we celebrated with her when she returned to classes.  From these photos, you can see Delilah (the dog) continues to tolerate hugs and Betsy continues to “teach”.

Our fleet of volunteers has kicked up their gears and bring us monthly lunches as well as come once a week to teach a variety of skills with the boys.  Every young person should have the ability to make fried chicken, boil pasta and chop veggies. Who knows what the next lessons will be!?  Natalia’s volunteer driver is Lucy – she joined us for birthday cake and games that day.

We are always excited to have Jerry and Christina from WyldLife YounLife join us!  We are possibly the smallest group they ever have as far as numbers but we are always enthusiastic! SO THANKFUL to God to their willingness and the willing hands of our staff interpreter Amber.

Thank you each for your prayers as we continue to minister here at CSCD. Pray with us for these students and for those who will be coming in the next and future school years.