American Sign Language (ASL) Club members learn new communication skills

Nicole Schmitt, Staff Writer

ASL is a club at SHS and it stands for the American Sign Language Club. 

In the ASL club, students learn how to say words, phrases, and sentences in sign language. They also learn the necessary expressions to help them communicate.

Ms. Jennifer Batt is the adviser of the ASL club.

“Graduate Alison Grimes started it a few years ago, but then Covid interrupted all clubs,” said Batt. “Jackie Dennehy asked if we could start it up again in the spring of last school year (2021).  We did indeed meet last spring several times and there was good student interest, so we made sure to start up the club right away this year.”

Now there are approximately 45 members in the club, the majority attend meetings regularly.

“Most of the meetings are guided lessons and practice.,” said Batt. “We started with the alphabet and numbers, but now we have moved on to words and phrases.”

“There is no need for class officers yet,” said Batt. Jackie Dennehy plans and leads the activities most days. Lucas Antal and Morgan McMahon also help during meetings.

American sign language is the fourth most used language in the UK and different countries have their own versions of sign language. 

“Sign language can come in handy in many public and social situations,” said Batt. “Also, toddlers and babies can learn sign language before they can speak, so it can be useful for babysitters and future parents.”

Babies as young as 6 months old can remember a sign, by eight months they are able to sign words, and by 24 months old they are able to sign full sentences. 

“ASL is a lot like acting since you have to put emotion into many of the signs for them to make sense,” said Batt. “It goes well with my interest in Drama and acting. What I like best about the club is that it is a really positive and alert group of students.”

Here is the link to join the ASL club: