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Classmates learn sign language to support fellow kindergartener who is deaf

Students learn ASL to support deaf student

A kindergartener from Maine got a very warm welcome at her school this week. Six-year-old Morey Belanger is deaf, and her classmates learned phrases in sign language so they could support her.

Morey came to Dayton Consolidated School in 2017 and became its first deaf student, according to reports. The school wanted Morey to feel welcome, so over the course of the school year, they started learning sign language. Teachers hung posters around the school to expose the rest of the students various words in phrases.

"Students in Morey's classroom have learning their ABCs and colors," the kindergartener's mom, Shannon Belanger, told CBS News via email. "They also have a lot of posters around school for things you would find around school like: door, window, line up, stop, sit, water, gym, sing, read, etc."

To celebrate the kids' accomplishments the teachers threw a surprise party last week. 

They got a "princess for hire" – a Cinderella impersonator who knows American Sign Language. The "princess" is a sophomore in Gorham, Maine, who hopes to become an American Sign Language Interpreter in a school, Dayton Consolidated School posted on Facebook.

The school also shared a video of Cinderella surprising Morey and her classmates. When Cinderella comes out, the students are in disbelief. Then, Morey joined the princess in signing a song for her schoolmates. 

"Our community has embraced American Sign Language - many staff and students learning additional sign on their own," the school wrote when sharing the video on Facebook. "As a thank you and as a way of reminding our students that ASL goes beyond our walls, Cinderella paid a visit and sang us a song while using ASL. Thank you to Rent a Princess for donating your services!"

The gesture meant the world to Morey, who dreamed of meeting a princess – and also felt the support of her entire school. 

Our community has embraced American Sign Language- many staff and students learning additional sign on their own. As a thank you and as a way of reminding our students that ASL goes beyond our walls, Cinderella paid a visit and sang us a song while using ASL. Thank you to Rent a Princess for donating your services!

Posted by Dayton Consolidated School on Wednesday, May 29, 2019