Signing a life-long passion for teacher

March 7, 2011 at 5:05 p.m.
Updated March 6, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.

Kellie Graves-Carreon has been learning sign language since she was 8 years old. "I'm not certified or anything, I just love sign language," she said.

Graves-Carreon wanted to share her love of signing, so she started Signing Time at the Victoria Public Library, where she is a library assistant.

The sign language class began in September and will continue until April. It is from from 4 to 5 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the library.

In the fall, there were up to 22 people attending the class to learn signing. The attendees learn through songs, games and practice packets with easy-to-follow images depicting the signs.

At the February class, most of the attendees saw the Signing Time post on the door and came in out of curiosity.

Emmie Purcell, 10, said she came to the class because she'd like to learn to read books to children in sign language.

Natalie Leach, 9, said she came because her best friend and cousin are deaf, and she wants to learn to talk better with them.

Mary Jane Quintanilla knows how to sign, but joined the class simply because it looked interesting.

Graves-Carreon would like to continue to teach sign language at the library to all ages, but said she especially hopes to launch a baby sign language class. Baby sign language is used to help parents communicate with their children before speech develops. Babies can be taught the signs for hungry, sleepy, thirsty and other basic needs.

"I really hope I can teach baby sign language" Graves-Carreon said, "I think it'd be useful and everyone would have a lot of fun learning it."



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