I was delighted to take “Once Upon a Sign” on the road this summer to Fairfax County Public Library in Virginia! The Burke Connection featured the program in its article on the many wonderful programs available at the Burke Centre Library. Check it out here.
Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs & Rhymes” series, recently interviewed me for her blog. Find out probably more than you ever wanted to know about how I fell into ASL storytelling, learn some tips for signing with young children, and don’t forget to check out Dawn’s books while you’re there! Read the full interview here.
In conjunction with my “Little Hands Signing: Holiday Signs” program at the Eldersburg Library on Thursday, December 19 at 9:45 am and 10:45 am, the Eldersburg Advocate has published this terrific article by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf about my Little Hands Signing classes:When Kathy MacMillan was children’s services supervisor of the Eldersburg branch of Carroll County Public Library, she encountered a deaf kindergarten teacher who would come in seeking storybooks for her students. MacMillan decided she wanted to communicate with her, which led her to enroll in a basic American Sign Language course at the Catonsville campus of Baltimore County Community College. Thirteen years later, after a stint teaching at the Maryland School for the Deaf, MacMillan is a certified ASL interpreter and a published author. She no longer is full-time at the Eldersburg branch, but said she still tries to host programs there monthly as substitute staff, to teach children and adults basic sign language and its benefits. “I love to go back to teach,” MacMillan said. “Everyone is welcome.”
Louise Sattler of SigningFamilies.com says:
“Looking for a great baby gift or one for new parents for the holidays? Try Little Hands & Big Hands – a book that demonstrates the basics of sign language and incorporates creative ideas for families to learn sign together! Easy to follow directions! The games included are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Early childhood educators will LOVE this book!”
“In her presentations at libraries, child care centers, and schools, storyteller Kathy MacMillan always makes her audience members part of the show, whether it’s getting them to move their hands like butterflies, pretend to dig for treasure, or act like dinosaurs. Incorporating music, costumes, props, and, most importantly, movement, MacMillan’s goal is to keep her audience engaged while providing them with an introduction to American Sign Language (ASL).”
“Kathy does a fantastic job of making it an enjoyable event, even for the birth to 24 month ages. My daughter is 20 months old and being a typical toddler doesn’t sit still for long. Kathy is able to present things in a manner that keeps my daughter’s attention.” – Cassandra H.
“Kathy teaches American Sign Language by combining games and clever memorization techniques in a fun-filled and interactive environment. The classes not only involve learning about the importance of Deaf Culture, but also encompass the basics of conversational sign and build upon what you, as the student, want to learn.”-Jenny M., a teen from Eldersburg, MD
Here’s a sampling of feedback from workshop evaluations:
“Great intro to ASL! I learned a lot…I hope I can remember it all! Really good insights into Deaf Culture. I could have gone on for another hour. Really great instructor!”
“The hands-on participation and practice was very helpful. Giving us library specific signs and making us practice was valuable.”
“The practical experience and learning about the history helped in understanding the ‘why’s of the language. It was an excellent workshop!”
“I liked that it was geared for our uses on the job. The instructor was very effective.”
“Kathy was very enthusiastic and incorporated many activities. Everything was very helpful!”
“The workshop gave a lot of insight on culture. It’s wonderful to experience Kathy’s enthusiasm!”
“Fun, concise, and a lot of good tips in a short time.”
“The workshop included great advice, demonstrations, resources, practical information, and a variety of techniques to incorporate ASL into programs. I wouldn’t change a thing!”
“I liked the wealth of information and resources provided and discussed. Lots of great, simple ideas to use sign language in storytimes. Having us participate was good – Kathy made us feel comfortable learning signs.”
“Thank you so much for your spirited and entertaining sign language program…you managed to hold the attention of a very rambunctious group of 80+ with a combination of positive reinforcement, good humor, and solid information.” –Selma Levi, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD
“Thank you very much for your entertaining and informative performance. I think the kids really enjoyed how interactive and “hands-on” it was. My daughter retold the whole thing at the dinner table tonight!” –Melody Dean Mudd, White Marsh Elementary School PTA