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  • 1. Reading and the Deaf / Hard of Hearing Student Newsletter May 2008 Chair, Michele Gennaoui St. Francis de Sales School for the Deaf, Brooklyn, New York mgennaoui@sfdesales.org Secretary, Jennifer Storey cjstorey@bctonline.com © TPM 05
  • 2. What to See At This ConventionMay 6, 10:45am to 11:45am - Susan FullertonSelf-Correction and Early Literacy Processes: A Comparison of Deaf and Hearing ReadersGeorgia World Congress Center - B407May 7, 2:00pm to 3:15pm - Myron Uhlberg, children’s authorSpecial Interest Group for Deaf and Hard of Hearing ReadersDad, Jackie, And Me: Deaf Black and Hearing: What’s the connection? The story behind thestory.Georgia World Congress Center - B302May 7, 2:00pm to 3:30pm - Barbara Schirmer and Laura ShafferResearch Poster SessionStrategies for Teaching English Language and Struggling Learners Guided Reading Approach:Application to Deaf StudentsGeorgia World Congress Center - B213-B214 An Update on Author Myron UhlbergMyron Uhlberg’s latest work is a memoir. It will be published by Bantam Dell, a division ofRandom House, in February 2009.At the SIG meeting Myron will discuss the blending of his childrens books, The Printer, andDad, Jackie, and Me....and the upcoming, The Sound of All Things--which will be the final bookin the trilogy of the hearing boy and his deaf parents, into his adult memoir,Hands Of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, And The Language Of Love.Myron will be showing many of the family photos of his Father, Mother, and himself that will bereproduced in the memoir. Taking us on a journey to a world that he found unaccountablybeautiful, even as he longed to escape it, Myron Uhlberg describes what it was like to grow up asthe hearing son of two deaf people. Louis and Sarah married and had their first child, Myron, atthe absolute bottom of the Great Depression – an expression of extraordinary optimism, andtypical of the joy and resilience these two were able to summon at even the darkest of times.Their son’s first language was American Sign Language, the first sign he learned: “I love you.”But his second language was spoken English, and no sooner did he learn it than he was calledupon to act as his father’s designated ears and mouth in the stores and streets beyond their silentapartment. This meant not just straddling the worlds of the hearing and the deaf, but reversingthe roles of parent and child in order to translate adult words and concepts to his father – andthen having to flip back again to being just what he was: his father’s little boy.A love letter to his parents, this is also a memoir filled with hilarious stories about growing up as 2
  • 3. a book-loving, mischief-making, tree-climbing kid in Brooklyn during the period that spannedthe Depression, the War, and the early 50s. Listening to the radio he had to sign for his fatherevery blow in the historic boxing match between America’s Brown Bomber Joe Louis andHitler’s Master Race champion Max Schmeling, and conversely his father signed to him his ownvivid descriptions of every battle on the European and Pacific fronts. From the beaches of ConeyIsland to the Dodger’s Ebbets Field where he went to watch his father’s hero, Jackie Robinson,play ball, from the hospital ward where he visits his polio-afflicted friend in an iron lung to thebranch library above the local Chinese restaurant where every book is suffused with the hauntingsmell of soy sauce, he tells a tale that will move and enchant.Myron Uhlberg is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of a number of children’sbooks. He lives with his wife in Santa Monica and Palm Springs. Dad, Jackie and MeIT IS THE SUMMER OF 1947 and a highly charged baseball season is underway in New York. JackieRobinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers--and the first black player in Major LeagueBaseball. A young boy shares the excitement of Robinsons rookie season with his deaf father.Each day he listens eagerly to the Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. When his father arrives homefrom work, the boy uses sign language to tell him about the Dodgers. His father begins to keep ascrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news:they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play in person!Author Myron Uhlberg offers a nostalgic look back at 1947, and pays tribute to Jackie Robinson, thelegendary athlete and hero who brought a father and son--and an entire New York community--together forone magical summer. Illustrator Colin Bootmans realistic, full-color illustrations capture the details of theperiod and the excitement of an entire city as Robinson helps the Dodgers win the long-awaited pennant.Dad, Jackie, and Me has now garnered 25 awards (including the prestigious American LibrarySchneider Family Book Award), and much critical acclaim. It is in its seventh printing. A magical story of how a young boys everyday world is transformed into a snow-covered wonderland through the force of a blizzard and the power of a dream. 3
  • 4. "As a boy, my father learned to speak with his hands. As a man, he learned how to turn lead-type letters into words and sentences. My father loved being a printer." Websites and Articles of Interesthttp://www.k12academics.com:80/deaf.htmDeaf Characters in Adolescent Literaturehttp://pajka.blogspot.comThe Reading Teacher December 2007/January 2008“Authoring With Video” by Barbara K. Strassman, & Trisha O’ConnellJournal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Educations Winter 2008“The Signed Reading Fluency of Students Who Are Deaf/Hard of Hearing” Susan R. Easterbrooks& Sandra G. Huston Become a member! IRA has been supportive of Deaf Education issues. Become a member of the SIG to keep issues of deaf and hard of hearing literacy in the forefront of IRA. The current number of members allows IRA to provide the SIG a meeting of an hour and 15 minutes at the annual convention. Increased membership will increase our meeting time. Please become a member and encourage membership among your colleagues. In order to be a member of the SIG you must be a current member of the IRA (reading.org) and submit your IRA membership number to the SIG. and a special bonus…dues will no longer be collected! Jennifer Storey is continuing to compile a database of email addresses in order to publicize the SIG to interested educators. IRA provides Sign Language Interpreters It is the policy of IRA to provide sign language interpreters if deaf convention attendees make this request on their registration forms. All sessions can be accessible to deaf and hard of hearing participants. 4
  • 5. Save this date! May 3-7, 2009 IRA’s 54th Annual Convention Minneapolis, MinnesotaThe Special Interest Group for Reading and Deaf and Hard of Hearing will meet on Thursday morning May 7, 2009 Sharon Pajka-West will present: Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature A Collection of adolescent books with Deaf Characters, websites, author interviews and book reviews.Acquiring fictional books that include deaf characters can be time-consuming and challengingfor teachers and librarians. The research examining deaf characters in fiction is extremelylimited. In 2007, I started an educational blog, Deaf Characters in Adolescent Literature(http://www.pajka.blogspot.com/) which stemmed from a conversation with a former high schoolstudent who requested summer reading. She challenged me with the stipulation that my bookrecommendation must include a deaf character similar to her and her peers. Through my researchI found that readers also showed a preference for a wide spectrum of deaf characters. I am proudto say that now I can truly recommend books with multiple realities of the Deaf humanexperience. On my blog, there are books with characters who use American Sign Language, whoattend residential schools for the Deaf, who have a Deaf family, who wear cochlear implants, andsince most of the Deaf characters in literature are white, I can even recommend a book with acharacter who is African-American.My initial goal for the blog was to have a place to compile details from my research, to list bookswith deaf characters, and to recommend books to all the students out in cyberspace who wereseeking characters similar to themselves. In less than one year, my blog now includes overtwenty author interviews and a list of 167 contemporary books with deaf characters ranging fromjuvenile chapter books to cross-over adult books. There is even a companion newsletter, YADC(Young Adult Deaf Characters) that is published quarterly on-line and free of charge.Happy Reading!Sharon Pajka-West, Ph.D 5