The Signing Dalers

Colleen White , Staff Writer

Although American Sign Language is no longer offered as an elective, here at Farmingdale High School it is still going strong. ASL is involved in multiple events throughout the year like Homecoming Fair, Carnivale, Language Day, and their induction for the honor society. In my opinion, many people sleep on the ASL program at Farmingdale. There are so many benefits to learning this visual language that the majority of students and adults don’t know about. Being in the honor society for three years now and being a member on the board, I’ve seen all the hard work that goes into the events that keep this program running.

There are many advantages when it comes to learning the language. Studies show learning ASL increases memory retention. In the class,  students are learning visually, verbally, and kinesthetically, which is through touch, and are introduced to different learning techniques all at the same time. As students’ sign language skills evolve, their communication skills in English improve. It also increases self-esteem and self-confidence. The ASL classroom is judgment-free and Ms.Logan creates a friendly and comfortable environment. Victoria Recine , ASL Honor Society president, stated, “ASL should remain in the high school because we offer it as an elective and a language credit and also there are so many opportunities linked to ASL career-wise.”

This month marks the start of planning for the honor society induction. The honor society starts forming and learning songs for its “dance” teams, with this year’s opening number for induction being “This is Me” from the film “The Greatest Showman” and the closing number being “Hall of Fame” by The Script. Meetings are Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on what group you are, in Ms.Logan’s room after school.  Students translate and divide the parts of the song, though they aren’t really dancing, instead, they sway and move in formations on stage. Both President Victoria Recine and Vice President Sarah Kate Vella run the teams. Then comes the donations for the induction and ASL day for language week. Donation coordinators contact local businesses for food to sell, like bagels and heroes. They also have to get the balloon arrangements and decorations to dress up the auditorium. Dan Knight and I are the technical directors; we make sure we have a slideshow done for the inductions and are always taking pictures.

The honor society also has a website where students’ hours are updated and pictures are posted. Everyone in the honor society is always on their game. There are monthly meetings for all the members to come together to make sure everyone is on the same page. Every year the events always come out great because everyone has the same love for the language.

If you are looking for an elective to add to your schedule next year give ASL a shot. You’ll never know what crazy ride you’re in for when you enter Ms. Logan’s room.