Wilton Library’s Hands On PAH activities continue

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WILTON – Wilton Free Public Library’s Hands On PAH program has been busy during this past month, offering a variety of activities and services for deaf and hard of hearing children and adults and their families in the Western Maine area.

Children and their parents all enjoyed the Oct. 4 story time, which featured Nicole Phillips, an ASL II student at Mt. Blue High School reading Moses Goes to a Concert by Isaac Millman. Lori Lewis interpreted. Participants learned that deaf children can also enjoy a concert by holding balloons in their laps and feeling the vibrations of the music. Children also enjoyed learning some phrases in American Sign Language, and forming their names with ASL letters.

Interpreted story times are held at the library on the first Saturday of each month, from 10:30-11:30. Deaf and hearing children and their families will enjoy stories that are deaf-centered, and children will have the opportunity to learn about Deaf culture, American Sign Language, and participate in an arts and crafts activity.

Nicole Phillips, a second-year American Sign Language student at Mt. Blue High School, at left, and Lori Lewis, ASL teacher at MBHS and storytime interpreter at a recent story hour at the Wilton Free Library. More events are coming up.

The next interpreted story time will be Saturday, Nov. 1, at 10:30 a.m. Lori Lewis will read the story The Garden Wall by Phyllis Limbacher Tildes, about the challenges and rewards a hearing boy faces in becoming friends with a deaf girl. Shannon Locke will interpret, and Gail Carlson will direct the arts and crafts activity. All deaf and hearing children, and their families, are encouraged to attend.

Hands On PAH advisory council member Gail Carlson attended the annual Deaf Festival at the Maine Center on Deafness in Portland on October 4, and was pleased to find that news of the Wilton Library’s deaf services is becoming widely known in the greater Portland area. Carlson was recently honored by the governor’s office in recognition of her service to the Deaf community in Western Maine.

Other Hands On PAH activities include several ongoing community outreach services. Lynne Hunter and Sherry Walrath, also PAH advisory council members, recently met with Amber McCallister from AWAP (Abused Women’s Advocacy Project) and Julia Terry from SAVES (Sexual Assault Victims Emergency Services). They discussed some Deaf cultural issues relevant to Deaf people who may need the assistance of these agencies.

Hands On PAH is also meeting with Tammy Bremner, organizer of a homeschooling group of parents and children, on Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Farmington Baptist Church. Sherry Walrath will offer some leaning activities with American Sign Language. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information about past and present programs and support services offered through Hands On PAH! contact the library at 645-4831, or consult the library’s website at www.wilton-free-lib.me.us

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