Have you read TRUE BIZ yet? If not, fix that now!

True BizTrue Biz by Sara Nović
Summary: True biz (adj/exclamation; American Sign Language): really, seriously, definitely, real-talk
True biz? The students at the River Valley School for the Deaf just want to hook up, pass their history final, and have doctors, politicians, and their parents stop telling them what to do with their bodies. This revelatory novel plunges readers into the halls of a residential school for the deaf, where they’ll meet Charlie, a rebellious transfer student who’s never met another deaf person before; Austin, the school’s golden boy, whose world is rocked when his baby sister is born hearing; and February, the headmistress, who is fighting to keep her school open and her marriage intact, but might not be able to do both. As a series of crises both personal and political threaten to unravel each of them, Charlie, Austin, and February find their lives inextricable from one another–and changed forever.

This is a brutal, glorious read that invites hearing readers into the perspectives of members of the Deaf community, and gives Deaf readers a mirror of their own beautiful, complex culture that is rarely seen in written literature. The author provides background and context for readers unfamiliar with ASL and Deaf Culture through strategically placed handouts from Charlie’s history class that explain everything from name signs to the impact of Deaf President Now. Every word, every sign illustration, every snippet of dialogue works together to create a verbal picture – even the formatting. Over the years, novelists have used many different methods to show ASL, which has no written form, on the page. Nović’s approach is astonishingly effective. Spoken dialogue contains no quotation marks, with nothing to set it apart from narration; it is simply part of the visual landscape, just as it would be for a Deaf person attempting to speechread. Signed communication, in contrast, is italicized and located in different places on the page to represent who is communicating. This creates a sense of visual distinction and echoes the use of space in American Sign Language. Nović expertly weaves in multiple character points of view to showcase the diversity of the Deaf community, exploring everything from cochlear implants to Black ASL to the state of residential schools to the struggle of CODAs (hearing children of deaf adults) to move between two worlds – all with a nuance, authenticity, and depth rarely seen in mainstream literature. With so many weighty topics to explore, a lesser author would get bogged down. But Nović’s story soars as it navigates the shifting relationships at its heart, always returning to the connections woven in the community.

TRUE BIZ is out now.

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New session of Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff – Beginner starts June 1

Hands Up: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff (Beginners)
Wednesdays, June 1 – July 6, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern/1-2 PM Central/12-1 PM Mountain/11 AM-12 PM Pacific

Learn and practice American Sign Language for library settings in this interactive series. Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week). Includes recording access for all sessions through August 6, 2022. Individual:$240. Group rates available.

Register now! Get 20% off when you enter promo code SUMMER at the top of the ticket form!

 

Recommended Viewing (and program!): “Calvin Can’t Fly: An ASL Storybook”

Calvin Cant Fly: An ASL Storybook” is a new, innovative film presented in American Sign Language by Crom Saunders, animation, enhanced text, music and narrated English. The 25-minute video is based on the book about a little bird who cant fly because he spends all his time reading and dreaming. Though his differences set him apart, his knowledge ultimately saves his flock from disaster.

Director Sarah Michaelson wanted to create something where everyone can share this heartwarming story in the same space no matter their background, ability, or learning style.  The screening event is perfect for Deaf and hearing audiences, students of sign language, and young readers who benefit from experiencing stories in a visceral way.

After a successful premiere last fall, the Calvin team is now focused on bringing more interactive events to libraries, school groups, and organizations around the country. Find out more, see video samples, and learn how to request a screening for your organization at https://calvinaslstorybook.com/ 

Register now for ASL with Kids in Storytime or the Classroom eCourse

text appears against an orange flowered background and reads: American Sign Language with Children in Storytime or the Classroom. 6-week ecourse from ALA Editions. Begins May 16, 2022. Register at https://tinyurl.com/ASLinStorytime

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

Begins Monday, May 16, 2022 and continues for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials.) Hosted by ALA eLearning.

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this 6-week eCourse, programming expert and signing storyteller 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 techniques to share stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. The course will use readings, multimedia resources, online discussion boards, and customized video assignments to provide you with the tools to share ASL in an effective and respectful way in your programs. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

More information and registration.


Past attendees say:

“One of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken.”

“Kathy is an amazing instructor. She made learning online very easy and comfortable. She replied quickly when students had questions and she responded with feedback with videos to help sign better.”

“I am amazed. It couldn’t have gone better. I came away learning many signs I can use and gained some helpful information for my storytimes.”

Register now!

Get Ready for Summer Reading!

Get ready for the 2022 Collaborative Summer Reading Theme, Oceans of Possibilities: Océano de Posibilidades, with these 2 webinars from Stories By Hand!

Text reads: Get ready for Summer Reading with Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinars. Ocean Signs: Thursday, May 5, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern. Summer Signs: Thursday, June 2, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern. StoriesByHand.com/webinars. Ocean Signs information appears against a background of jellyfish floating in the ocean. Summer Signs information appears against a beach with a sandcastle in the corner.

Add some American Sign Language to your storytime toolbox! In these interactive sessions, we’ll focus on basic ASL vocabulary for storytimes. Learn how to incorporate ASL into storytime songs, rhymes, and stories in a respectful and effective way. Registration includes 30 days of recording access. Individual: $40 per webinar. Group rates available.

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Ocean Signs: Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 2 PM Eastern/1 PM Central/12 PM Mountain/11 AM Pacific. Register now.

Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Summer Signs: Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 2 PM Eastern/1 PM Central/12 PM Mountain/11 AM Pacific. Register now. 

 


Booking dates still available for Signs Under the Sea, a high-energy, interactive program for your patrons that features ASL vocabulary for oceans and ocean life:

Signs Under the Sea

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.Dive into splashy stories, songs, and fun activities that explore the world of underwater animals through American Sign Language! Presented by Kathy MacMillan, author of the Little Hands Signing series

This program can be presented as an all-ages program, or adapted to a baby, toddler, preschooler, or school-age audience.

Indoor, outdoor, and online programs available.

 

  • Single program (45 minutes): $400 plus travel expenses.
  • Additional same-day sessions: $300 plus travel expenses.

Availability calendar

Complete booking details

Interested in a different program theme? Check out all Stories By Hand program offerings here.

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Online Storytimes

A picture of 3 smiling children appears on the left. Text appears against a rainbow background on the right: Little Hands Signing with Kathy MacMillan. Hosted by Queens Public Library. Facebook Live storytimes. Join at facebook.com/QPLNYC. All programs 11 AM Eastern. April 28: Feelings Signs. May 3: Food Signs. May 5: Clothing Signs. May 10: Weather Signs. May 12: Sing & Sign.

Little Hands Signing with Kathy MacMillan

Sing, sign, play, and learn basic American Sign Language in this fun, hands-on storytime for the whole family. Signing storyteller Kathy MacMillan is the author of the Little Hands Signing series and Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together. This program will be presented in spoken English with automatic captions for the live event and professional captions for the recordings, which will be available for 7 days.

All programs 11 AM Eastern

  • April 28: Feelings Signs
  • May 3: Food Signs
  • May 5: Clothing Signs
  • May 10: Weather Signs
  • May 12: Sing & Sign

Join the live storytimes at https://www.facebook.com/QPLNYC

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

Grow your American Sign Language skills for library settings in this interactive online series. Hands Up!: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff - Intermediate: Tuesdays, April 19-May 24, 2022 from 2-3 PM Eastern/1-2 PM Central/12-1 PM Mountain/11AM-12 PM Pacific. Register at https://storiesbyhand.com/webinars/ #ASL @familiustalk

Hands Up: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff (Intermediate)
Tuesdays, April 19-May 24, 2022 from 2-3 PM Eastern/1-2 PM Central/12-1 PM Mountain/11AM-12 PM Pacific.

Practice and gain confidence in your American Sign Language skills for library settings in this interactive series. Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week). Includes recording access for all sessions through June 24, 2022.
Individual:$240. Group rates available.

Register now!  Get 20% off when you enter promo code LEVELUP at the top of the ticket form!

 

Hands Up: Live ASL Practice for Library Staff (Beginners)
Wednesdays, June 1 – July 6, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern/1-2 PM Central/12-1 PM Mountain/11 AM-12 PM Pacific

Learn and practice American Sign Language for library settings in this interactive series. Online sessions via Zoom (6 weeks, 1 hour per week). Includes recording access for all sessions through August 6, 2022. Individual:$240. Group rates available.

Register now! Get 20% off when you enter promo code SUMMER at the top of the ticket form!

 

FREE webinar 4/21: Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries

FREE webinar: Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries Deaf History Month Free Symposium with Rosa Rodriguez, Alice L. Hagemeyer, and Joan Naturale April 21, 2022 - 1:00pm - 3:00pm Pacific Hosted by San Jose State University School of Information

FREE webinar: Deaf Community and Culture and Best Practices for Libraries

Deaf History Month Free Symposium with Rosa Rodriguez, Alice L. Hagemeyer, and Joan Naturale

April 21, 2022 – 1:00pm – 3:00pm Pacific

Hosted by San Jose State University School of Information

Register at https://sjsu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_yOerSDRHRk-T2RDkRjknIg

 


This program is not affiliated with Stories by Hand and is shared to spread the word!

Register now for Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Weather Signs

A white boy with blond hair looks up at a picture of the sun while signing SUN in American Sign Language. A white woman with light brown hair and glasses looks up at a picture of snow while signing SNOW in American Sign Language. Text reads: Little Hands Signing Professional Development Webinar: Weather Signs. Thursday, April 7, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern. Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S. Register at StoriesByHand.com/webinars

Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 2 PM Eastern/1 PM Central/12 PM Mountain/11 AM 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 weather storytimes. Learn how to incorporate ASL into storytime songs, rhymes, and stories in a respectful and effective way. Includes 30 days of recording access. 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 info@storiesbyhand.com for more information.
  • 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 Weather Signs

 


Register for the 2022 Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 1 Season Pass and save!You’ll get live webinar access to 6 theme-based webinars (including this one) PLUS extended recording access for the entire series through August 31, 2022. Season Pass is $200 per person and includes:

  • Winter Signs: Tuesday, January 4, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern
  • Lovey Dovey Signs: Tuesday, February 1, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern
  • Spring Signs: Tuesday, March 1, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern
  • Weather Signs: Thursday, April 7, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern
  • Ocean Signs: Thursday, May 5, 2022, 2-3 Eastern
  • Summer Signs: Thursday, June 2, 2022, 2-3 PM Eastern

Register for the 2022 Little Hands Signing Professional Development Series 1 Season Pass here.

Celebrate Read Captions Across America Day!

March 2 is Read Across America Day – and it’s also Read Captions Across America Day!

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Led by the Described and Captioned Media Program, Read Captions Across America (RCAA) is held in conjunction with the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America event every year on or around March 2.

The purpose of Read Captions Across America is to raise awareness—particularly among children and their parents and teachers—that video-based media can be just as effective at encouraging and fostering reading skills as books, as long as captions are always turned on!

Captions aren’t just for deaf and hard-of-hearing people! Studies show that captions benefit almost everyone, including beginning readers, people with learning disabilities, and English language learners! 

Download your FREE Read Captions Across America toolkit, including activity ideas, posters, bookmarks, and certificates here.