Students in Selkirk College’s Transitional Training Program continue to form strong bonds through sign language and public performance.
Students in the Nelson-based program (also known as Adult Special Education) had a successful second year as members of the Selkirk College Signing Glee Club. Under the leadership of Transitional Training Program instructor Alison Roy, members of the class take contemporary songs and perform them using sign language.
The Selkirk College Signing Glee Club during a recent rehearsal on the Silver King Campus in Nelson. The club has been going since January 2017 and practices one day a week.
“I started the club with students in January 2017 because I wanted to help others learn sign language so we could communicate more with a fellow classmate who uses sign as her primary form of communication,” says Roy. “It’s a fun way to explore songs, lyrics and their meanings, as well as enjoy music in a different way. Additionally, it creates a unique bond as classmates because we have common goals and we support one another to learn strategies to deal with challenges and problems. The benefits and positive outcomes go beyond the signing alone.”
Spreading a Message of Positivity
The glee club has learned ten songs in total, including “Castle On The Hill” by Ed Sheeran, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge and “Imagine” by John Lennon. They have performed several times over the past few months, including the Education Assistant & Community Support Worker Program’s annual Celebrate Diversity event back in March.
Students in the Transitional Training Program have embraced the glee club as a way to learn sign language and have some fun.
“We like to choose songs that are meaningful to us or have positive messages to learn,” says Roy. “Also, it is nice to choose songs that we can dance or move to as well. Some songs may appear easy and then they are really challenging. And some songs are great because they help us practice words that are great for communicating with others in everyday conversations.”
The Selkirk College Signing Glee Club runs from September to April with practices on the Silver King Campus (Room 203) taking place on Thursdays between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Roy says her class welcomes all Selkirk College students and community members to join.