American Sign Language Class Hosts Special Holiday Party

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BEACHWOOD, Ohio-- A very special holiday party happened at Beachwood High School Tuesday afternoon.

"It's fellowship with everyone coming together to see their friends. This is one time a year where they get to all gather together and meet each other," said Beachwood Senior Hannah Richardson.

This year's theme?

"Under the Sea," said Sharon Weisman.

This party has it all, games, prizes, animals, a bounce house and even dancing. What it doesn't have is any talking.

"This is our 9th annual American Sign Language Party which consists of hard of hearing and deaf people from all over the Cleveland community," Richardson said.

The hosts of this party are the Beachwood High School American Sign Language class.

"We teach them how to sign and then they come out and they use those skills in the real world and this is a perfect example of engaged learning," Weisman said.

While the party is a great learning experience, it has its challenges.

"It's a little harder because we have to be able to receive what they are saying to us and they are going fast and we're not all up to speed but it's really fun to be able to use what we learn at this party," Beachwood senior Tionne Little said.

"You have to know how to sign because you'll have people come up to you and ask what is in the food, or where is the bathroom, how to play games so basically we just prepare so we can communicate with everyone," Richardson said.

"The new students who come to the party for the first time you better believe that the next year they come back and know how to sign because they don't ever want to come back and have that experience of not being able to communicate with the people at this amazing party," added Weisman.

Nearly 500 people were at Tuesday's annual holiday party. All of the food and prizes were donated by businesses in the community.

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