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Babies can learn sign language at Madison Public Library

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – At Madison Public Library, babies can learn to sign in a new session, “Baby Sign Lap Sit.”

Parents have asked librarians to use more American Sign Language in programs, along with more infant activities.

Responding to both requests, youth services librarians Maggie Allen and Rebecca Doom have introduced more sign language in preschool and toddler story times. Parents and children alike have been enthusiastic with the study.

Allen and Doom then researched ways to incorporate more. The goal in Baby Sign Lap Sit is to introduce sign language to parents and infants, up to two years old. “Madison is proud to finally fill this need,” Doom said.

This story time on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. specifically focuses on introducing common sign words “to build a communication bridge between preverbal infants and verbal adults,” she said. Participants will learn signs for words in popular children’s songs and common words in different books.

Hopefully, parents will use signs with their preverbal infants at home during times for meals, bath and bed.

“Each week, the songs will focus on rhythm and signs, and the book will focus on special American Sign Language words used in common activities,” Doom said.

Doom and Allen plan to read Eric Carle’s “Brown Bear Brown Bear,” Karen Katz’s “How Does Baby Feel?” and Caroline Jayne Church’s “Good Night, I Love You.”

Many parents don’t know how to introduce sign language. Others are using sign language but want their child to use signs in a new environment.

“This new program allows both sets of people to have their needs met,” Doom said. “The singing, group setting and library environment are all large draws for parents and caregivers.”

An RSVP is required due to the limited number of books and to devote attention to each attendee. “With smaller groups, we can make each time we meet more intimate and meaningful,” Doom said.

Depending on popularity and demand, the program may expand. To RSVP, call 256-461-0046 or email to rdoom@hmcpl.org or mallen@hmcpl.org.

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