Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper

The Raider Review

Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper

The Raider Review

Eleanor Roosevelt High School's Student-Run Newspaper

The Raider Review

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ASL Mural Brightens Teacher’s Space

Teams from the American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) programs recently finished a mural in the upper library teachers lounge that depicts hands signing the letters ERHS with corresponding letters next to them on a blue background. The teachers that get to enjoy it are wondering about the thought process that went into its creation. An interview was held in the teachers lounge with two students and three staff members who participated heavily in the project. Ms. Kristen Dews, Ms. Amy Dauphin, and students Anthony Benaventesanchez and Jason Bermudez each contributed to the interview.

The mural features a light blue undertone with a few plants decorating its sides. The skin tones of the hands making the four signs on the mural gave attention to the diversity and creativity of our school. Ms. Dews said “the plants were added to the mural to convey a relaxing tone, along with a variety of walks of life.”  The students and staff  in the ASL and DHH program have made an outstanding effort on the design. When asked about it more in depth the staff member Ms. Dews explained that “adults came up with the idea” and it was the “students who supported the idea.” When the project was being thought of, Ms. Dews wanted to  “support the staff. They work really hard and so they need a place to come and relax.” This idea was pitched to the rest of the DHH program and put into motion. With the help of Ms. Connealy the art teacher, they were able to gather needed materials and helpful tools like the projector they used to paint the mural on the wall.

But challenges also came, the most difficult part of the project “was the letter H,” Ms. Dews said. “When you sign ERHS you turn the H towards your body. Originally I drew it this way (tilted upward), so it was understandable, but it wasn’t clear.” She then explain how they rearranged the H sign into something more understandable for the deaf community at first sight.

But when asked about which students helped the most, it was clear when Anthony said “It was mostly the two of us that were here, Jayson and I,” and that they couldn’t be left out of the discussion. “Many students were involved” in painting set up and the art covering the other walls of the teachers lounge, Ms. Dews said. “Six kids that worked on [the first window covering] and then those two worked on [the second] and then we had another team of eight that came to clean the room.”

When speaking about the team spirit that went to the murals creation both Ms. Dauphin and Ms. Dews didn’t hold back their praise for the students involved, especially for the sophomores that spent the most time with the project. And as the praise continued it was brought up that “Ms. Dews was the one that created the design and asked for help because she just learned I was a professional artist”  by Ms. Dauphin.

Ms. Dews explained how Ms. Dauphin’s “perspective in color helped and her perspective as a deaf person helped.” When doing this interview the friendly relationships mixing together gave a new meaning to the relaxing atmosphere the program wanted to create with the mural. If Ms. Dews had to change anything, it would be to “involve more kids” to build community even further.

Hopefully the representation of sign language inspires inspires teachers and students alike to learn mroe about sign and the deaf community. Overall, the students and staff in the DHH program created a beautiful design with such a meaningful message of unity.  

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