Poplar Bluff students use sign language outside of the classroom

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) – What was once a school club is now a class at Poplar Bluff High School and it’s showing signs of growing even more.

Students learning American Sign Language use their skills outside of the classroom.

“They love it, it went really well,” said ASL teacher Audrey Harris.

The American Sign Language class is in its first year and teacher Audrey Harris said it was a rewarding class to teach.

She gets along badly herself.

“I also have several friends who are also deaf and hard of hearing and those experiences give me this passion to just be able to give them a way to communicate,” Harris said.

Now her students are using what they learned in their work outside of school.

“Those who have had experiences… there’s a couple here, they feel like they’ve seen the joy of deaf culture in their lives and someone can actually connect with them and help them,” said she declared.

Christian Redden experiences this in his film work.

“It’s very basic, it’s not all the time, it’s once in a while, but most of the time I can get through the conversation and get them to the movie they want to be at,” said Redden.

Some students like Lynn Thurner want to make a career out of it.

“Now that I’m in this class, I’m doing it so I have a goal for the future. I want to be a performer, I want to be able to communicate with others, I want to work with others all the time,” Thurner said.

“It never occurred to me that it would become as big as it did and it would have the impact it has,” Harris said.

Harris said administrators may create a second-tier ASL class because of its popularity.

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