Monday, May 20, 2024

The ASL Honors Art Show and Book Debut at Granbury High

Breaking Barriers


On Wednesday, May 8th, at 9:30 a.m., the American Sign Language 3 & 4 Honors students from Granbury High School, in a remarkable collaboration with students from Western Hills High School Deaf Education Program of Fort Worth ISD, will present their American Sign Language Art Show and Visual Children's Book Debut Screening. This event, a testament to the power of unity and shared purpose, has been a unique experience five months in the making.

“Our ASL 3 and 4 students, through the help of a grant awarded to the ASL program at Granbury High School from the Granbury Education Foundation, have focused not only on language learning this year but also on a deeper study of the Deaf community and culture,” said Liz Robblee-Davis, American Sign Language 2, 3 and 4 teacher. “They have learned about language deprivation, communication repair, Deaf education, and barriers that Deaf individuals face every day.”

The GHS Honors ASL students partnered with Deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Western Hills High School in Fort Worth, where they learned to work together as teams, created a theme, and authored original children’s books. The students then met to record videos and voice-overs for their books and were busy adding their final touches this week. On Wednesday, the students will present their original visual children's books, authored, illustrated, narrated, and signed entirely by their own hands.

Students in all levels of the ASL program have also been working on an ICONIC sign art project. Their final masterpieces will be on display at the event on Wednesday. “I cannot imagine a better opportunity for students to put what they are learning into action,” remarked Robblee-Davis. “It is humbling to watch students take what they are learning, challenge themselves, and find success through their hard work and dedication.

American Sign Language (ASL) is the official language of the Deaf community in the United States and many countries where missionaries have brought language and education to an unserved population.

Granbury High School offers 3 different languages as a part of the Foreign Language Department: Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. By state standards, students must complete two (2) years of foreign language to meet graduation requirements. Students have opportunities to continue their language learning by taking advanced coursework in their chosen language.  Currently, Granbury High School has 217 students enrolled in ASL 1 & 2, and 24 students who have continued their study of the language in ASL 3 & 4 honors classes.

As a person with hearing loss, Roblee-Davis began learning American Sign Language in college to meet her language requirement. Soon, she fell in love with the language and went on to complete an Interpreter Training Program. She spent many years working as an educational interpreter before coming to Granbury. She now teaches ASL along with fellow educator Banita Elkins at Granbury High School.

Students who study ASL benefit in the workforce by being able to communicate with Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. Specifically, students who wish to use ASL in the workforce or continue into college can find careers working as Interpreters, ASL teachers, Teachers for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, nurses, doctors, therapists, EMT/Paramedics, police officers, and the armed services. “Really, there is no limit,” noted Robblee-Davis. “Any profession that interacts with the public can benefit from the ability to use and communicate through ASL.”

The art show starts at 9:30am in the Granbury High School auditorium. The event is open to the public. We would love to have the community join us to enjoy the book debut, art show, and celebration,” said Robblee-Davis.