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Read Captions Across America Recaps

RCAA Event Recaps

The DCMP is pleased at the number of RCAA events which were held on or around the official RCAA date of March 2. Some kind folks even took the time to share some information about their events with us. Below are a few insights from past RCAA celebrations.

Milwaukee Sign Language School (report from Maureen Seiden, an ASL teacher at the school)

Children show their siblings and parents the DCMP’s Read Captions Across America DVD, featuring a variety of Dr. Seuss books in movie form. Classrooms watched the DVD earlier in the day.

On the evening of March 2, Milwaukee Sign Language School hosted “Family Literacy Night” in celebration of Read Across America and Read Captions Across America. The event was organized by the school’s reading leaders, Lisa Gardiner and Jill Waltersdorf.

Students and their families signed in upon arrival and each child received a “passport”. Students rotated through various literacy activity stations positioned in the lobby, main hallway, and gym. When each activity was completed, a book sticker was added to their passport. Upon filling their passports, the children received a free book of choice, a bag of popcorn, an RCAA bookmark [PDF] and an RCAA certificate [PDF]. This was a wonderful evening for families to spend time participating together in literacy-building activities.

Be sure to check out the RCAA Flickr group, where we’ve shared some photos that Maureen snapped at the Milwaukee Sign Language School event!

Scarborough Elementary School (Olathe, KS—report from Michelle Rich, an educational captionist/advocate for the Olathe School District)

A second grade classroom in Olathe watches The Lorax with captions from the Described and Captioned Media Program.

Michelle presented RCAA to a second-grade classroom, showing them what captions looked like, a brief explanation of how to use them, and introduced the idea that captions are reading material and could improve their reading skills. According to Michelle, they were an awesome audience!

The class watched The Lorax and loved the RCAA bookmarks and certificates! Michelle even made them some cupcakes that looked like the Truffula trees from the movie. These students have been exposed to captioning before because the deaf ed program is based in Michelle’s school district, so the basics were in place. However, it was interesting to see them understand how they applied to them personally. The classroom has one student who is deaf, one who is hard of hearing, and then (surprise) a student with deaf and hard of hearing siblings—Michelle’ 8-year-old. According to all reports, it was a fun time for all!

Pharr Elementary School (Snellville, GA—report from Dionne Howard, a teacher of students who are deaf or hard of hearing at Pharr Elementary)

Pharr students scripted, recorded, and broadcast on the morning news a PSA about the importance of reading and how reading captions can improve one’s reading skills.

Students at Pharr Elementary celebrated two noteworthy events during the first week of March: RCAA/Read Across America and Exceptional Children’s Week. Their teachers thought it would be a great idea to incorporate awareness about captioning into the school’s annual celebration of literacy, and—by all accounts—the students agreed with them!

Here are some of the activities that Pharr students took part in during their week-long celebration:

  • On RCAA day, The Cat in the Hat was shown every half hour (with captions, of course) so that students could experience “reading” a video.
  • Students were asked to create captions for posters hanging in the hallway near the art room, with the winning “captionists” receiving a prize.
  • A different exceptionality was highlighted each day during the school’s morning news broadcast (RCAA day’s news featured a PSA by the students that explained the benefits of reading captions).
  • Students participated in Dr. Seuss-themed triva games, complete with a giant Cat in the Hat hat into which students placed their guesses to the trivia questions, as well as many Dr. Seuss-themed prizes.

Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind (ISDB—report from Dorothy Ogden, ISDB library technician and DCMP ambassador)

Teachers and students from ISDB celebrate RCAA festivities.

This year, ISDB (which has celebrated several Read Captions Across America days in the past) decided to have a “Read-In Event” for RCAA day. The school contacted members from the community to come and help read with students here on campus. These people were former employees, parents or alumni. It seems that the adults had as much fun as the students; several of them dressed up as Seuss characters or at least donned a hat and bowtie.

Students were allowed to wear pajamas or comfortable clothing, along with a blanket, pillow, or stuffed toy. The morning was spent in the library vicinity with an adult reading partner. Students either read to their partner of vice versa. Books were pulled from the library shelves and placed on carts in convenient areas for selection.

After reading about 45 minutes, refreshments of muffins and juice were served. Along with reading, the students were also entertained by the Elementary Visually Impaired (VI) Class with a delightful Seuss-themed Song! The students then enjoyed lounging in front of a television watching (and reading) Dr. Seuss captioned films.

Each class that participated in the event made a poster of their favorite Seuss book; the posters were displayed in the common area in front of the school library. Door prizes were drawn, certificates awarded, and a fun time was had by all!