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ASL Students Promote Literacy at Creekside, Begin Preparations for Annual Charity Event

As members of the PCC Chorale perform a 'singing Valentine,' PCC American Sign Language (ASL) Instructor Nicole Franklin (seated) signs the lyrics to Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" for students in her ASL III class.

WINTERVILLE—A group of students taking American Sign Language (ASL) at Pitt Community College have made it their mission to become a positive force in the community by means of extending their classroom’s borders.

As their final exam project during the fall semester, Brianna Cleggett, Davonte Johnson, Catherine Maryott, Monica Reese and Jennifer Spaugh promoted literacy to young deaf students at Winterville’s Creekside Elementary School.

After four weeks of writing, signing and producing a screenplay of the classic story “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” – with a spin – the students visited Creekside to share bags of popcorn with the youngsters while viewing the video they’d created.

“These students have proven they are not just ordinary college students but community members with a purpose,” said PCC ASL Instructor Nicole Franklin.

Earlier this spring, Franklin teamed up with the PCC Music Department to surprise her students with a signing music demonstration. As the PCC Chorale performed a ‘singing Valentine’ for the class (Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” in this case) on Feb. 14, Franklin signed the lyrics.

“I think the students were inspired and motivated as they move forward to complete their end-of-semester project,” Franklin said.

Franklin says the students are currently working on translating, learning how to sign with music, and filming and producing a music video for “ASL Idol,” an annual charity event set for May 5 at 6:30 p.m. She said the students will share additional event details in the weeks ahead and vote on the charity they want to support with the money they raise in May.