ASL Poetry and a #Giveaway of NITA’S FIRST SIGNS!

I’m so excited to share a guest post at Laura Shovan’s Poetry Friday blog post! Laura is a poet and the author of Takedown and The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, and she matches books with great poems when she posts about them on her blog. (Check out the post she did about my young adult novel, Sword and Verse, here.)

For Nita’s First Signs, I was thrilled to introduce readers to a classic of American Sign Language poetry: “Dandelion” by Clayton S. Valli. ASL poetry is composed in ASL and created to be understood in a visual medium, with meter, alliteration, and rhyme expressed in an entirely visual way.  Learn more about the poem and enter to win a signed copy of Nita’s First Signs at Laura’s blog.

Enter to win NITA’S FIRST SIGNS and 25 PROJECTS FOR ART EXPLORERS!

My co-author for the Storytime Magic series, Christine Kirker, and I each have new solo books out, so we’ve teamed up for a giveaway! Read about both books below, and enter a giveaway for a prize pack featuring signed copies of both books here. Giveaway ends July 27, 2018.

Nita’s First Signs

Available now from Familius Press!

  • Text by Kathy MacMillan
  • Illustrations by Sara Brezzi
  • ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

American Sign Language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference. Marlee Matlin, award-winning Deaf actress, author, and activist, says: “Nita’s First Signs demonstrates the value and fun of learning sign language for ALL infants, toddlers children AND adults, regardless of whether they are Deaf or hearing or hard of hearing.”

Order now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org

 

25 Projects for Art Explorers

by Christine Kirker 

Available now from ALA Editions!

With schools emphasizing STEM activities for children to meet curriculum goals for standardized testing, nurturing children’s artistic creativity is often given short shrift. Kirker’s fun resource aims to restore the balance, offering more than two dozen projects that will spark children’s interest in art and encourage creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. Designed for kids aged 5-10, and flexible enough to use in either storytimes or classroom settings, the projects here

  • introduce children to a variety of art techniques, from gouache and watercolor to collage and papermaking, using a curated selection of quality picture books;
  • provide detailed directions for guiding children to experiment with these techniques to create their own projects; and
  • include materials lists adaptable for any budget, capsule biographies of the picture books’ illustrators, programming tips, and links to additional resources.

Kirker’s inventive projects will help library staff and educators reinforce learning, encourage experimentation, and build an appreciation for art and the creative process.

Order now from ALA Editions!

 

Enter a giveaway for a prize pack featuring signed copies of both books!

FREE Signing Storytime Programs in MD Libraries This Summer

I’m looking forward to sharing stories, songs, and signs with kids and families this summer at Maryland libraries! Join me for these FREE programs!

Saturday, July 7, 10 AM at the Eldersburg Library (Eldersburg, MD)Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs (for ages birth to 8 with caregiver)

Sunday, July 8, 2 PM at the Rosedale Library (Rosedale, MD): The SIGN-a-long Sing-a-long (for all ages)

Wednesday, July 11, 1:30 PM at the White Marsh Library (White Marsh, MD): The SIGN-a-long Sing-a-long (for all ages)

Thursday, July 12, 11 AM at the Central Library (Denton, MD): The SIGN-a-long Sing-a-long (for all ages)

Sunday, July 15, 2 PM at the Hereford Library (Hereford, MD): The SIGN-a-long Sing-a-long (for all ages)

Friday, July 20, 3 PM at the Towson Library (Towson, MD): The SIGN-a-long Sing-a-long (for all ages)

Monday, July 30, 10:30 AM at the Hyatttsville Library (Hyattsville, MD)Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs (for ages birth to 8 with caregiver)

Saturday, August 11, 10 AM at the Eldersburg Library (Eldersburg, MD)Little Hands Signing: Transportation Signs (for ages birth to 8 with caregiver)

 

Signed copies of Nita’s First Signs will be available for $15. I’ll also be offering book bundles featuring Nita’s First Signs and Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, along with an adorable rubber ducky signing I-LOVE-YOU, for just $28. Makes a great baby shower or new baby gift!

Nita's First Signs final cover   Little Hands and Big Hands cover   

 

 

 

 

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS Launch Event This Sunday at The Ivy Bookshop!

Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 10 AM

The Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Rd, Baltimore, Maryland 21209

To preorder your copies (or order signed copies if you can’t attend the event), call (410) 377-2966

Nita's First Signs final cover

 

I’m looking forward to celebrating the launch of Nita’s First Signs with stories, songs, crafts, snacks, and more! This event will be appropriate for all ages and accessible in American Sign Language and spoken English.

RSVP here.

In the Community: NAOBI-DC BBQ

The National Alliance of Black Interpreters – DC (NAOBI-DC) will be hosting a family-friendly cookout on July 7th, from 1-5pm in Takoma Piney Branch Park (2 Darwin Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20910). The charge for attendance is either one side dish, or $10 per family. Contact NAOBIDCBBQ@gmail.com with questions.

Program offerings featured in “In the Community” posts are not affiliated with Stories by Hand and are shared to spread the word about other ASL learning opportunities.

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS is available now!

“Nita’s First Signs demonstrates the value and fun of learning sign language for ALL infants, toddlers children AND adults, regardless of whether they are Deaf or hearing or hard of hearing.” – Marlee Matlin

Published by Familius Press!

  • Text by Kathy MacMillan
  • Illustrations by Sara Brezzi
  • ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

American Sign Language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference.

Makes a great baby shower gift!

Order now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org or ask for it at your local library!

 

In the Community: ASL Classes at the Hearing and Speech Agency

Learn from a Deaf instructor at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a highly-respected Baltimore non-profit.

CLASSES OFFERED SUMMER 2018

JULY 17 – AUGUST 21

EVENING CLASSES 
(Tuesdays 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.)
SUMMER FUN SIGNS | FINGERSPELLING

MORNING  CLASSES
(Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.)
BABY & TODDLER SIGN

For pricing and registration information, click here.

 

Program offerings featured in “In the Community” posts are not affiliated with Stories by Hand and are shared to spread the word about other ASL learning opportunities.

NITA’S FIRST SIGNS Press Release

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Family.

Contact: Kate Farrell, Publicist, Familius LLC kfarrell@familius.com

  • Review copy available upon request
  • High-res cover photo available

How Do I Sign? Nita, Show Us More!

From using her manners to communicating instead of crying, Nita shows little ones how to communicate with your grown-up.

SANGER, Calif., June 15 2018 – Baby sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun!

Nita and her parents teach ten essential signs in the context of a fun story, using repetition to encourage learning and to help break communication barriers between parents and preverbal children.

Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign. Tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference.

Words include:

  • eat
  • drink
  • more

Written by a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter and teacher whose websites provide bonus tie-in resources, this book is the essential start to your baby’s sign language collection!

About the Author: Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, writer, teacher, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of nine books for parents, librarians, and educators, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press, 2013). Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in January 2016. She has presented American Sign Language storytelling programs for children and families since 2002. Find more resources for signing with young children at her websites, www.storiesbyhand.com and www.storytimestuff.net.

About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, audio books, videos, articles and apps. Let’s Talk Family. http://www.familius.com

Book Details:

Title: Nita’s First Signs

Author: Kathy MacMillan

Illustrator: Sara Brezzi

ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

Publisher: Familius

Publication: June 15, 2018

Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781945547676

12 pages; Board book includes tabbed pages that split open to reveal instructions for each sign

*Available beginning June 15, 2018 from bookstores, online booksellers and www.familius.com

Register now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, May 7, 2018 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials)

$250.00

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in 2016.

In the Community: Free ASL Classes at the Germantown Library

American Sign Language for Beginners

FIVE FREE SESSIONS

Sundays, April 8, 15, 22, 29 & May 6, 2018
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Montgomery County Public Libraries, Germantown Library (Lower Level)
19840 Century Blvd, Germantown, MD 20874

Co-sponsored by Montgomery County Association of Hearing Impaired Children (MCAHIC), Montgomery County Public Libraries and the Maryland Deaf Culture Digital Library.

In commemoration of Deaf History Month (March 13-April 15), join us.

The emphasis of this class will be placed on communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals through vocabulary development, conversation, and practice. These sessions are appropriate for family members, teachers, child care providers, students ages 14 and older, and anyone who wishes to learn sign language. Beginning 3/19, register online at the library website or call us.

Register online at the library website or call the Germantown Library at  240-777-0110.

Note: These classes are not affiliated by Stories By Hand.  This information is provided as a resource to those seeking ASL instruction in the community.