All About Me

Dawn Babb Prochovnic, author of the “Story Time with Signs & Rhymes” series, recently interviewed me for her blog.  Find out probably more than you ever wanted to know about how I fell into ASL storytelling, learn some tips for signing with young children, and don’t forget to check out Dawn’s books while you’re there!  Read the full interview here.

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Little Hands Signing in the News

imagesIn conjunction with my “Little Hands Signing: Holiday Signs” program at the Eldersburg Library on Thursday, December 19 at 9:45 am and 10:45 am, the Eldersburg Advocate has published this terrific article by Jeremy Bauer-Wolf about my Little Hands Signing classes:

When Kathy MacMillan was children’s services supervisor of the Eldersburg branch of Carroll County Public Library, she encountered a deaf kindergarten teacher who would come in seeking storybooks for her students. MacMillan decided she wanted to communicate with her, which led her to enroll in a basic American Sign Language course at the Catonsville campus of Baltimore County Community College.
Thirteen years later, after a stint teaching at the Maryland School for the Deaf, MacMillan is a certified ASL interpreter and a published author. She no longer is full-time at the Eldersburg branch, but said she still tries to host programs there monthly as substitute staff, to teach children and adults basic sign language and its benefits.
“I love to go back to teach,” MacMillan said. “Everyone is welcome.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Little Hands and Big Hands makes a great gift

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Louise Sattler of SigningFamilies.com says:

Little Hands and Big Hands cover“Looking for a great baby gift or one for new parents for the holidays? Try Little Hands & Big Hands – a book that demonstrates the basics of sign language and incorporates creative ideas for families to learn sign together! Easy to follow directions! The games included are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Early childhood educators will LOVE this book!”

Stories By Hand Featured in Baltimore’s Child

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“In her presentations at libraries, child care centers, and schools, storyteller Kathy MacMillan always makes her audience members part of the show, whether it’s getting them to move their hands like butterflies, pretend to dig for treasure, or act like dinosaurs. Incorporating music, costumes, props, and, most importantly, movement, MacMillan’s goal is to keep her audience engaged while providing them with an introduction to American Sign Language (ASL).”

 Read the full article.

Learning ASL the Fun Way

“Kathy teaches American Sign Language by combining games and clever memorization techniques in a fun-filled and interactive environment. The classes not only involve learning about the importance of Deaf Culture, but also encompass the basics of conversational sign and build upon what you, as the student, want to learn.”-Jenny M., a teen from Eldersburg, MD

Workshop Participants Love Hands-on Learning from Stories By Hand!

Here’s a sampling of feedback from workshop evaluations:

“Great intro to ASL! I learned a lot…I hope I can remember it all! Really good insights into Deaf Culture. I could have gone on for another hour. Really great instructor!”

“The hands-on participation and practice was very helpful. Giving us library specific signs and making us practice was valuable.”

“The practical experience and learning about the history helped in understanding the ‘why’s of the language. It was an excellent workshop!”

“I liked that it was geared for our uses on the job. The instructor was very effective.”

“Kathy was very enthusiastic and incorporated many activities. Everything was very helpful!”

“The workshop gave a lot of insight on culture. It’s wonderful to experience Kathy’s enthusiasm!”

“Fun, concise, and a lot of good tips in a short time.”

“The workshop included great advice, demonstrations, resources, practical information, and a variety of techniques to incorporate ASL into programs. I wouldn’t change a thing!”

“I liked the wealth of information and resources provided and discussed. Lots of great, simple ideas to use sign language in storytimes. Having us participate was good – Kathy made us feel comfortable learning signs.”

Stories By Hand Programs are Great for Active Preschoolers

“Kathy really engages preschool audiences well. My child is an extremely energetic 4.5 year old, and she really held his attention. Learning the signs was such a tangible accomplishment for him that not only was it fun, but he felt great about doing it and sharing it with others. We still use many of the signs we learned, and they are particularly great for correcting him gently in public. (I often sign “sit down” in restaurants). Also, unlike many other “art activities” I see given to preschoolers at library storytimes or the like, her projects provide high quality enrichment/reinforcement of the material presented.” – Sara, a mom from Woodbine, MD