Baby Sign News for the Week of August 12

Dear Signing-Friendly Folks –

Long time no newsletter! Hello and happy summertime!
Sign of the Week
This one is from July, but pay no attention to such details – it’s summer and you should know the sign for SUN.

NEW Class Starting in Holyoke
I will be starting a new Baby Signing Time session this fall – the first 4 weeks will be Thursdays at 10am in Holyoke at the Baystate Health Education Center, 361 Whitney Ave. in the BRL conference room (entrance on 1st floor near the flag pole). beginning September 12. The second 4 weeks will continue on Tuesdays (note the switch of day) at 10am beginning October 12 through November 5. To register, call Baystate Healthlink at  413-794-BABY (2229). Here is their website.
It’s not necessary to register for both sessions and it’s fine to come to the second half without having come to the first. The cost is $50/4-week session per family. I have pasted a class description at the end of this post in case you would like to forward the information to friends.It will also be on my Facebook page.
Please take special note in the description of the suitability of the class for the FULL RANGE OF AGES: Birth to 3-years old. I continually struggle against the misconception that there is some magical window of time within which baby sign works for children. There are wonderful benefits to families and children in many stages of development. If we see what true interest exists and there is enough call to do so, we will be able to create multiple classes for different aged kiddos. I’d be happy to talk to you more about this topic. Please contact me with any questions.
Free Story Times
I’m hoping to do more story times at World Eye Bookshop’s Florence & Greenfield locations for the fall. Stay tuned. If there is a bookstore or location you’d like to see a story time, I’d love to hear about it.
Links You Might Enjoy
Here’s an article from Portland about the benefits of signing for children – including information on those benefits for children who are already talking. Some of you have heard much of it before, but for others it will be new, and for all of us it’s a great reminder, a kind of in-a-nutshell of why we do this.
Here’s an article debating baby babble in sign.
And finally, a very interesting discussion of signing and music from Grammy Award-nominated a cappella group Sweet Honey in the Rock (coming to the UMass Fine Arts Center in November). They discuss why and how they have included a sign language interpreter in their circle to perform with them at all their concerts.
Any of you who have taken my classes and have some encouraging or informative words to share with other parents, please send them my way!! I’d like to get them up on the website. Thank you.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and I hope to see you in the fall. Thanks for reading and sign on,
Class Description:

…Imagine if the little baby in your arms could tell you what was wrong. Imagine that instead of screaming, your toddler had a way of expressing her needs. Imagine that your preschooler could practice his ABCs in a way that fit his style of learning best. 

This is a 4-week class that introduces parents, babies and children from birth to 3 years old to American Sign Language (ASL) – an amazing tool for this age group that builds communication, confidence and bonding!

ASL has been shown to reduce frustration and tantrums, heighten the parent/child bond, even increase IQ levels. It appeals to multiple learning styles and developmental needs.

The class plays its way through some of the vocabulary presented in the award-winning Signing Time and Baby Signing Time series. Words we might work with include signs for food, animals, toys, bedtime routines, family members, the natural environment, colors, numbers and parts of the body. Come explore your favorite classic children’s stories with the new dimension of sign!

Series participants receive a graduate certificate and song lyrics. Parents also have input into the direction and content of the lessons.

If you are new to sign, come learn how easy it is to jump start communication with your little one. If you are already using some signs, the class will provide a supportive community and weekly tips for success at home. It teaches real American Sign Language, opening a world to a whole new culture and language – something that has been shown to literally expand the brain. And, it’s fun! Come see what your child has been waiting to tell you!