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9 from KHS prep for sign language competition

KINGSTON — Students from Kingston High School’s American Sign Language Club will compete at the Sign Off at Mount Tahoma High School, March 23.

Nine club members, also enrolled in classes with ASL teacher Beth Schoenberg, will compete individually or in small groups. The top three performers in each category will earn prizes. There are some bragging rights to be earned, too, Schoenberg said.

This is the second time students from KHS have participated in the Sign Off.

The competition includes five different types of performances, from storytelling to skits. All of the competitions are done using sign language. One group from KHS, for example, will perform a shortened version of “Rumpelstiltskin.”

Students will perform in front of a panel of judges who are either deaf or are professional interpreters.

Schoenberg said the students are “taking it very seriously.” Of the nine, a few have studied sign language for about six months.

“It takes a lot of courage,” Schoenberg said. “I have a really good batch of students.”

Students from the ASL classes will attend the event to support their fellow signers, and maybe pick up a few more signing skills while they’re at it. The club and ASL classes intertwine; members of the club also attend ASL classes.

The ASL program, Schoenberg said, has grown almost every year. This year, there are about 130 students in ASL 1-3. It’s a full schedule of classes for Schoenberg.

 

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