***It’s so SWELL...this Wish for Bell is fulfilled!***
SC47 - Deaf Program Residencies (Deaf Classes)
"The sun shines everywhere, it does not shine only here and there. In the same way, yoga is for everyone." -- BKS Iyengar (one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine.)
Deaf Yoga Residency - Wednesday's yoga is a great start to the day for the students and teachers in Bell's Deaf Program! Now in its third year, this 10 week residency positively impacts the students. Led by a hard-of-hearing yoga teacher (who wears a cochlear implant herself), students connect their breath and body in a fun, healthy way. The teachers and interpreters note a noticeable calm on yoga days, and the students do too! Your support of the Yoga Residency will help this continue next year. Bonnie Vozar and the Topfer Family Foundation, the inaugural funders, hopes the Bell community will continue to support the merits of this program.
Deaf Culture Residency - Hearing people often think of deafness as simply an inability to hear. Being Deaf, though, is about more than just whether or not a person can hear—it's about being part of a community with its own history, values, and culture. Because 90% of deaf children are born to two hearing parents, many of these children are not raised in a household that uses sign language fluently or that teaches them about this important piece of their identity. Bell’s new Deaf culture residency will kick off during International Week of the Deaf in September, with a five-day celebration of Deaf culture that can be enjoyed by staff and students in all three programs. Students in Bell’s deaf department will then take part in a ten-week program where Deaf/hard-of-hearing adults from the community will educate them about their own culture, customs, history, and tools and technology they can use in their everyday lives. We believe that these lessons and open conversations will promote our deaf and hard-of-hearing students’ self-respect and foster a sense of pride in their identity, and ultimately will foster better connections between Bell’s deaf, neighborhood, and options programs. We thank you for your generous support of this exciting new opportunity!
Tap Dance Residency - The Tap Dance Residency program is currently being coordinated through the Chicago Tap Theatre. Mr. Mark Yonally, director of the Chicago Tap Theatre, comes to Bell twice a week for twenty weeks to teach deaf students the art of tap dancing. This is the only residency that is not based on language, but rather it is based on movement and vibration of sound. For this reason, it is fully accessible for our deaf students. Bell School hopes to increase funding to incorporate some of their inclusion classes into the residency over the next few years.