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Clarke Summer Program to 'Go Green'

The Clarke School for the Deaf/Center for Oral Education will host its 27th annual two week summer program for deaf and hard of hearing children from July 12 to 24. The program brings deaf children ages 9 to 13 together for field trips, friendships and fun. It gives children the chance to connect with other children who use hearing aids and cochlear implants and who are often the only deaf child in their school.

The program's theme - Going Green will engage children in activities to learn ways of preventing or reducing pollution, methods of recycling, understanding and developing renewable sources of energy and taking a leadership role in educating themselves and others about taking care of Mother Earth. Hands on activities will encourage children to explore and experience ways that people can make a difference now and in the future. Some activities include: making items from recycled jeans, building and playing musical instruments from recycled containers, creating art projects from every day items and more. Field trips will include a whale watch to learn about the success of protecting the largest endangered mammals on Earth, visiting recycling centers and learning about solar energy, while building solar model cars.

Summer program activities are led by experienced teachers of the deaf who encourage leadership and independence, while enhancing listening, communication and social skills. Also, Clarke alumni will be junior counselors and serve as role models for the children.

Children will live with a roommate in an air conditioned dormitory with a family-style dining room, lounges, computers and recreation rooms. Each child will be given their own Clarke e-mail account, making it easy to communicate with family and friends at home.

"It will be a very dynamic two weeks filled with lots of fun and hands-on activities where everyone learns by doing. This year, it won't only be fun - but also beneficial to our environment," said Program Director Bob Storm.

For more than 25 years Clarke has seen extraordinary friendships form when deaf children come to its Northampton, MA campus from all over the United States. Clarke offers a unique opportunity for them to share their feelings with other children who are often going through the same experiences. For children who may not have other deaf children in their school, summer program can be an empowering experience.

For more information, please contact The Program Information Office at   413-584-3450   or email info@clarkeschool.org

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