SUMITON, AL (WBRC) - It's probably one of the few times you don't have to tell fifth through seventh graders to be quiet.
At Sumiton Middle School in Walker County, more than 35 students are learning American Sign Language.
Rebecca Odom created the club when she started getting a lot of interest about 3 years ago.
Odom, who has a daughter who is deaf, is now the staff interpreter for the SMS students who are hearing impaired.
Students would see her interpreting in class and wanted to know what she was saying in sign.
Abby Akers says now she can have conversations with her friend who is deaf.
“She, like, says hey to me and how you doing and she, like, talks about different stuff,” said Akers.
Asa Robinson has been with the club from the very beginning and joined because he thought it would be interesting.
He says it’s also teaching him something. “Patience. Because it takes time to be able to do it so fluidly to go from slowing, learning to finger spell to be able to do full on sentences,” said Robinson.
Isabella is hearing impaired and she was smiling as her classmates are signing. She told us through Odom, “It makes me feel good and makes it easier for me to communicate with people.”
She also gets to teach the others. “I sometimes help them sign better if they are struggling with their sign,” Isabella said.
Perhaps their t-shirts really sum up what this club is all about. “It’s got a heart with our school name and American Sign Language with the ‘I Love You’ hand,” Robinson explains.
For the students who are hearing impaired, their classmates’ commitment to learn to talk to them may very well be a sign of their love.