Our Community Hero for this week at Jeffersonville Branch Library was Jenny Benedetti who is an interpreter for the deaf community. An interpreter is a facilitator between the hearing and deaf community, making communication possible. Sign language is not word oriented, it is more conceptual. Did you know that sign language originated in France? Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a minister from the United States, was neighbors with a little girl, Alice Cogswell, who was deaf. He wanted to educate her and didn’t know how, so he traveled to England to learn how they educated deaf people there. He was turned away. Next, he met Laurent Clerc, who was a teacher of the deaf in France. They traveled to America. On their 52-day voyage, Laurent taught Thomas French sign language and Thomas taught Laurent English. Together they established the first school in America for the deaf.
Angie, Chloe, Kathy and Lilly are shown here learning some sign language and our community hero, Jenny, is shown teaching the sign for lonely. The participants played a very fun game of bingo using all the signs they learned from the program. There were three winners: Chloe, Kathy and Angie.