ASL Club Signals a Future in SLHS

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Mack Morgan

ASL club learning signs during spartan period

Mack Morgan

A few new clubs have been formed by Southern Lehigh High School students this year, including the German Club and the Italian Club to name a few. Now, for the first time in Southern Lehigh High School history, there is an American Sign Language (ASL) Club. 

Sophomore Jaclyn Bossert, founder of the ASL Club, began preparing for the new group last year. Jaclyn has known ASL since she was younger due to her aunt being deaf; this is just one of several reasons why Bossert wanted to get the club approved. 

“ I’ve known ASL my whole life. So, ever since I was little, all my friends wanted to sign their names and I would teach them on the bus,” Bossert said. “That interest continued, so after overhearing the process on how to start a club I thought, ‘neat, I should do that.”

To achieve her goal, Bossert first needed to create a description of the club and present it to former principal Mrs. Beth Guariello. After that, the last step for approval was to find a willing teacher to advise the club. Fortunately, math teacher Mr. Louis Skrapits was willing to back Bossert and the ASL Club.

Jaclyn Bossert already knows sign language so she is pretty passionate about it,” Mr. Skrapits said. “I have never been in charge of a club so I thought it would be nice to be involved with a club with a good cause.”

The ASL Club was originally set to include only about 20 to 22 members, but ended up drawing a whopping 30 interested students. Bossert hopes to teach others about the deaf community and give students the opportunity to talk with guest speakers and their interpreters regarding their experiences with deafness.

“The biggest goal is to do some community work because there are deaf people in our community and they make a pretty big impact,” Bossert said. “[If you] put effort beyond the bare minimum you’re going to get a lot out of this club.”

So far, Bossert believes the club is successful. The students in the club are slowly learning how to sign the alphabet, which is the foundation of ASL. The hope by the end of the school year is that seniors graduate with a basic understanding of ASL, and underclassmen end the year striving to learn more.