Recommended Reading: SET ME FREE by Ann Clare LeZotte

cover of SET ME FREE by Ann Clare LeZotteSet Me Free

by Ann Clare LeZotte

Coming September 21 from Scholastic

 

 

 

In Show Me a Sign, Ann Clare LeZotte introduced us to Mary Lambert and the people of Martha’s Vineyard in the early 1800s, where nearly everyone signed and deaf islanders were fully integrated into the life of the island.  The Mary we meet in Set Me Free, three years after she was kidnapped and dragged to the mainland to be experimented upon, is warier and wiser. When she is offered the chance to tutor an eight-year-old deaf girl who seems to have no access to communication, she says yes, though she has no idea of the web of secrets and lies she will uncover when she leaves the island to go to the fine manor house. Mary relies on her wits and her own internal moral compass to communicate with the hearing people in the house, always determined to reach the girl – determined not to give up on her, even if her own family already has. Along the way, Mary must confront old friends and enemies, and reckon with the web of prejudice around her, even in her own family and history. LeZotte once again offers a nuanced picture of history, naturally incorporating characters of many backgrounds into the story and showing how the lives of the Wampanoag, black, and white characters are intertwined both on the island and the mainland. Mary remains both passionate and compassionate even as she learns greater patience for those whose minds have not been opened as much as her own. At a family dinner, Papa toasts Mary by signing, “To our Mary, in all her beautiful contradictions.” LeZotte’s work, in turn, shines a light on the beautiful contradictions in every one of us.

Find out more about Ann Clare LeZotte’s work at her website.

Register now for Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff

Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff | Interactive webinar series presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. | Beginners: Fridays, September 17-October 22 from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern | StoriesByHand.com/webinars | Words appear over a drawing of upraised hands in bright pastel colors against a white background.

Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff (Beginners)

Fridays, September 17-October 22 from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern/12:30-1:30 PM Central/11:30AM-12:30 PM Mountain/10:30-11:30 AM Pacific

Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week)

Learn how to improve your service to deaf patrons in this interactive series. We’ll cover basic information about American Sign Language and Deaf Culture, as well as specific vocabulary for the library setting. Each session will build on those before it to reinforce your knowledge and expand your ability to communicate with members of the Deaf community, and you’ll get plenty of interactive signing practice! Recording access will be available to those who cannot attend the sessions live. Certificate of completion available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

Pricing:

  • Individual: $240 (includes live webinar and recording access for the for the 6-week series)
  • Group rates available for 10 or more registrants; contact info@storiesbyhand.com for more information

Register now!

Hands-on feedback on your signing activities for storytime or the classroom!

Yellow and red leaves are scattered against a wooden background. Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Group Coaching Session | Put some ASL in your storytime toolbox! Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2:00-3:15 PM Eastern. Online via Zoom. Individuals: $40. Group rates available. StoriesByHand.com/webinars

Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Group Coaching Session

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2:00-3:15 PM Eastern/1:00-2:15 PM Central/12:00-1:15 PM Mountain/11:00AM-12:15PM Pacific. 1 hour and 15 minutes, Online via Zoom.

Here’s your chance to get live feedback on your storytime activities using American Sign Language! In this interactive small-group session, each participant will demonstrate a story, song, rhyme or other activity they plan to use with signs in storytime, and storyteller and nationally certified ASL interpreter Kathy MacMillan will give live feedback on vocabulary choices, sign production, presentation, and introducing ASL vocabulary in context. Expand your storytime toolbox with ideas from your peers and enhance your storytime confidence!

Each session is capped at 12 participants, so register now!

Pricing:

  • Individual: $40 (includes live webinar and recording access for 30 days after the live event)
  • Group rates available for groups of 10 or more. Contact me for details.
  • Optional Add-on: Individualized video feedback: $25. Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

Register for Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Group Coaching Session


About the Instructor:

Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other books for children, teens, librarians, and educators.

See all upcoming webinars.

Interested in a session just for your library? Find out more about booking a private webinar for your group here!

Signing this Saturday at the MD Renaissance Festival

I’ll be signing at the Maryland Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD this Saturday! Hope to see you there!

A smiling white women with glasses and long brown hair looks at the camera while leaning over to sign a book. She is wearing a flower crown and a blue velvet gown. The covers of Sword and Verse, Dagger and Coin, Nita's First Signs, and Nita's Day appear at the bottom of the graphic. Text reads: Meet Author Kathy MacMillan. Signing at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Page After Page Bookstore. Saturday, September 11, 11 AM-5 PM

FB_IMG_1472502550592Saturday, September 11 from 11 AM-5 PM: Maryland Renaissance Festival: Visiting Author at Page After Page Bookstore

Come learn to write your name in the language of the gods and get your signed copy of Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin! September 11 is one of two American Sign Language Interpretation Days at the festival, so I will also be signing Nita’s First Signs and Nita’s Day. Find me at the author tent across from Page After Page Bookstore (inside the festival village).

NOTE: Tickets to the festival will ONLY be sold online this year, so make sure to purchase yours ahead of time at https://rennfest.com/

 

 

1 week from today: Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Autumn Signs

Brightly colored autumn leaves appear against a blue background with a photo of a smiling white woman. Text reads: Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Autumn Signs. Wednesday, September 8. 2-3 PM Eastern. Presented by KathyMacMillan, NIC, MLS. Register at StoriesByHand.com/webinars

Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Autumn Signs

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at 2-3 PM Eastern/1-2 PM Central/12-1 PM Mountain/11 AM-12 PM Pacific. 1 hour, Online via Zoom

Add some American Sign Language to your storytime toolbox! In this interactive session, we’ll focus on basic ASL vocabulary for autumn sights and activities. Learn how to incorporate ASL into storytime songs, rhymes, and stories in a respectful and effective way. Certificate of completion available upon request with successful completion of post-test.

Pricing:

  • Individual: $40 (includes live webinar and recording access for 30 days after the live event)
  • Group rates available for groups of 10 or more. Contact me for details.
  • Optional Add-on: Individualized video feedback: $25. Submit a video (up to 10 min) demonstrating your planned signing activities for storytime and receive individualized feedback on sign choices, production, and more from Kathy MacMillan via return video within 14  days. Must be used within 6 months of purchase.

About the Instructor:

Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of the Little Hands Signing series from Familius Press, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press) as well as many other books for children, teens, librarians, and educators.

Register for Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Autumn Signs.

See all upcoming webinars.

Interested in a session just for your library? Find out more about booking a private webinar for your group here!

Sing, sign, read, play – and learn ASL as a family!

On the right, a smiling white child with blond hair signs SIGN in American Sign Language. Text reads: Little Hands Signing for Families. Sing, sign, read, play, and learn basic American Sign Language together! Fridays, September 17-October 22, 9:30-10:30 AM Eastern, Online via Zoom. Register at StoriesByHand.com/ForFamilies. Text appears in black against a background with broad stripes of orange, blue, and yellow.

Little Hands Signing for Families

Fridays, September 17-October 22 from 9:30 AM-10:30 AM Eastern/8:30 AM-9:30 Central/7:30 AM-8:30 AM Mountain/6:30 AM-7:30 AM Pacific 

Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week)

Sing, sign, read, and play together as you learn basic American Sign Language in this engaging, interactive storytime-based class. Designed for kids and grownups all ages to learn together, this series will teach basic ASL vocabulary and grammar through stories, songs, and fun activities, while also sharing information for caregivers on how to integrate signs into family life for richer communication and a more peaceful environment. Session one will cover introductory signs; topics of later sessions will be determined based on a survey of participant needs but may include food signs, family signs, safety signs, animal signs, and more.

Pricing: $80 per family (includes live classes and recording access for the 6-week series) (NOTE: Only the instructor will appear on the recordings.) – Register by September 8 using coupon code SIGNON and get 10% off!

About the Instructor: Kathy MacMillan (she/her) is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, instructor, consultant, writer and signing storyteller. Kathy is the author of the Little Hands Signing board book series (Familius Press) and Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press), as well as many other books for children, teens, and adults. She has worked in public libraries for over twenty years, and was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Campus from 2001 to 2005. Kathy presents American Sign Language programs for families and workshops for library staff and educators. She also serves on the board of Deaf Camps, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides camps for deaf and hard-of-hearing children and children learning American Sign Language. She lives in Baltimore, MD.

Register now.

 

View all upcoming events from Stories By Hand

Register by August 31 and save 25% on upcoming webinars!

Get 25% off any of the following webinars and webinar series when you register by August 31 using coupon code EARLYBIRD! Group rates also available! Contact me for details. Click on the graphics below for more information and registration. Brightly colored autumn leaves appear against a blue background with a photo of a smiling white woman. Text reads: Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Autumn Signs. Wednesday, September 8. 2-3 PM Eastern. Presented by KathyMacMillan, NIC, MLS. Register at StoriesByHand.com/webinars Yellow and red leaves are scattered against a wooden background. Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Group Coaching Session | Put some ASL in your storytime toolbox! Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. Wednesday, September 15, 2021, 2:00-3:15 PM Eastern. Online via Zoom. Individuals: $40. Group rates available. StoriesByHand.com/webinars Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff | Interactive webinar series presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. | Beginners: Fridays, September 17-October 22 from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern | StoriesByHand.com/webinars | Words appear over a drawing of upraised hands in bright pastel colors against a white background. Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff | Interactive webinar series presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. | Fridays, November 5-December 17 from 1:30-2:30 PM Eastern/12:30-1:30 PM Central/11:30AM-12:30 PM Mountain/10:30-11:30 AM Pacific - NO CLASS ON NOVEMBER 26 | StoriesByHand.com/webinars | Words appear over a drawing of upraised hands in bright pastel colors against a white background. A red candle glows on the left. A photo of a smiling white woman appears on the right. Text reads: Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Autumn Signs. Wednesday, November 10. 1-2 PM Eastern. Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, MLS. Register at StoriesByHand.com/webinars An illustration appears on the left of a white child dancing with hands in the air. Text appears in black against an orange background: Little Hands Signing Professional Development: Group Coaching Session | Put some ASL in your storytime toolbox! Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. Tuesday, November 16, 2021, 3:00-4:15 PM Eastern. Online via Zoom. Individuals: $40. Group rates available. StoriesByHand.com/webinars Interested in a session just for your library? Find out more about booking a private webinar for your group here!

Online Storytimes This Week

Join me online for free programs for all ages, sponsored by local public libraries!

Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 6 PM Eastern: Little Hands Signing: Under the Sea.  Online storytime hosted by New Castle County Libraries (MD). Register now!

A photo of a smiling white women with glasses and shoulder length brown hair appears on the left. She is signing FISH in American Sign Language, as cartoon fish swim around her. The colorful covers of board books Nita's First Signs and Nita's Day appear to her right. Text appears in black against a blue background: Little Hands Signing: Under the Sea. Thursday, August 12 at 6 PM Eastern. Hosted by New Castle County Libraries. Register at https://tinyurl.com/NCCUndertheSea. Sing, sign, and play together with this fun, hands-on, FREE online storytime with Kathy MacMillan, author of the Little Hands Signing series.

 

Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 6 PM Eastern: American Sign Language Safari. Online storytime hosted by Baltimore County Public Library (MD). Register now!

A photo of a smiling white woman with glasses and a safari hat appear on the left. A monkey puppet is sitting on her left shoulder and she is signing I-LOVE-YOU in American Sign Language with her left hand. The colorful covers of board books NITA'S FIRST SIGNS and NITA'S DAY appear to her right. Text appears in white against a textured green background and reads: American Sign Language Safari. Learn animal signs through stories, songs, and fun activities for the whole family with Kathy MacMillan, author of the Little Hands Signing series. Hosted by Baltimore County Public Library. Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 7 PM Eastern. Online via Zoom. Register at https://www.bcpl.info/events-and-programs

 

Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10 AM Eastern: Little Hands Signing: Under the Sea. Online storytime hosted by Carroll County Public Library. Register now.

A picture of colorful handprints appears on the left, with the words: Little Hands Signing with Kathy MacMillan: Under the Sea. Ages Birth-8. Next to that, a photo of a smiling white woman with glasses appears next to the colorful covers of board books NITA'S FIRST SIGNS and NITA'S DAY. Text appears in white against a green background with blue jellyfish: Sing, sign, and play together with this fun, hands-on, FREE online storytime for the whole family, presented by Kathy MacMillan, author of the Little Hands Signing series. Carroll County Public Library. Saturday, August 14, 2021 at 10 AM Eastern. Online via Zoom. Register at https://tinyurl.com/CCPLUndertheSea

 

 

 

 

Register now for Signing with Children eCourse! Begins August 23!

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

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, August 23, 2021 (6 weeks of lessons; Participants will have a total of 12 weeks to complete course materials)
Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.
Cost: $250.00 (discounts available for American Library Association members and bulk registrations); Estimated Hours of Learning: 30 

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this 6-week eCourse, 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.

A few of your assignments will be to create videos of yourself signing, so that you can get direct feedback from the instructor.

Reviews

“Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide is one of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken. I really appreciated the topics covered and all the additional tips the instructor contributed to the discussion forums.”

“Your methods for teaching, quizzing, and giving feedback for assignments were more responsive than any ecourse I’ve taken so far (on this site or in grad school!)”

“Kathy MacMillan was an outstanding teacher, and I would highly recommend this class to my colleagues.”

“This course was appropriately named. It was practical and extremely informative.”

Register now!