ASL Honor Society serves up holiday spirit


photo by Lilia Wilken-Yoder

Senior Stefany Rios signs with senior Jarianna Torres as they start decorating for their Winterfest.

For their first event of the semester, the ASL Honor Society hosted their Winterfest on Dec. 3. For the past two years, the honor society has partnered with Silent Hope Church to host a first semester event. Hosting services in both ASL and English, Silent Hope is the first deaf-led church in the East Valley, trying to bridge the gap between the Deaf and Hearing. Since the honor society hosted a fall festival last year, they decided to host a Winterfest this year. 

“We were looking to find a place to serve the deaf community in a productive way so we reached out to [Silent Hope]  and asked if we could partner with them. They hosted their deaf social and we came and turned it into a Winterfest because they had the deaf community so we can serve and have a bigger turnout,” ASL teacher Barbara Chaves said. 

Students from both the honor society and ASL Club were encouraged to sign up and help. There were two volunteer opportunities for students to take part in: volunteering at a different activity station or walking around with deaf children and families to complete the numerous activities. Activities included reindeer and Santa plate decorating, face painting, bracelet and ornament making, bowling and a hot cocoa station.

The second event of the semester quickly followed when, on Wednesday, Dec. 7,  the ASL Honor Society volunteered at the Holiday Expo hosted at Oviedo High School. The Holiday Expo is where an array of different holiday displays are set up in collaboration with many different high schools. 

Volunteers were given the option to work a table to teach attendees different signs related to the holiday or perform a song. Hagerty was in charge of both Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day. Students were given the option to perform a song related to their holidays or work a table with information about the holiday for attendees to visit. 

“It made me really happy to see people signing, especially when they are learning new signs. Everyone seemed so happy to learn about ASL and that was really great being outside of school and being able to communicate with the deaf community,” junior Sophia Garbelmen said.