Curiosity sparks creation of sign language club

Hailey McEntee, Co-Editor

Cross arms over chest with hands in fists touching shoulders. Love.
Make two thumbs-up signs and put both together in front, center of body. Move both hands in circular motion. Together.
Freshman Jenna Carey started the Sign Language Club and led the first meeting on Feb. 21.
She became interested in sign language in middle school.
“In seventh grade in band, we weren’t allowed to talk during class,” Carey said. “So, me and my friend would use signals kind of like sign language to talk to each other. That’s probably when I first got interested in sign language. We used to just make it up, but then we started to actually learn some real sign language.”
The club members started their first meeting by making goals for what they want to achieve by coming to the club.
“Everybody’s kind of in a different spot,” Sign Language Club sponsor Tina Martinat said. “Everybody just kind of shared out their goals to see if there were any common ones along the way.”
Once they discussed goals, the club members talked about how much sign language each one of them knew. They found out they all know approximately the same amount of sign language.
“Some of the people in the club know a little bit — just random words,” Carey said. “We are going to try to get to the point where we can actually do full sentences.”
The next step starting the club was figuring out what resources they could use to learn sign language. One club member found an app on her phone that might help them learn.
“We’re trying to tap into people resources and see if they could ever come to a meeting and kind of teach us some sign language,” Martinat said. “Any time that we can learn from a person, we would love that. But in the meantime, we’re going to use library books, apps on a phone and YouTube videos.”
Carey said she has considered becoming a sign language interpreter in the future.
“I really enjoy sign language, and my parents told me about how it could be a job, and that sounded pretty good to me,” she said.
She said the Sign Language club will be a good way to reach her goal of becoming a sign language interpreter.
Carey said if she becomes good enough, she could take sign language classes in college.
“It’s much easier to learn through interaction and actually talking to people in sign language,” she said. “We’ll be able to practice with each other and learn together at the same pace,”
Meetings for the Sign Language Club will be on Tuesdays from 3 p.m. to around 3:30 p.m.
“I think it will be one of those ‘If I can make it, then great,’ kind of clubs,” Martinat said. “Everyone is welcome, and we are just in the beginning stages.”