Stephen Williams

Imagine being deaf, the whole
world gone silent.
Learning can be almost impossible
if the student has not learned
sign language yet. Now try imagining
a school for students who are
deaf, and a school who is underfunded
and cannot provide basic
supplies, such as rulers, protractors,
compasses, pencils and markers.
This school is in Niger, Africa, and
desperately needs supplies.
The school’s unofficial name is
the school for the deaf. If the student
has no education they are
placed in kindergarten, regardless of
age. Many of the students in kindergarten
are ten through fifteen years
old, and the classroom ratio is thirty
students to one teacher. Supplies are
very scarce in classrooms, students
are using broken pencils and crayons
to write with.
“They do not have the resources
over there, so it really helps them
and their education, especially
since they have disabilities,”
French student Laura Swain
The supplies the school
needs are rulers, protractors
and compasses. All of these items will
better each student in their geography
as well as basic measurements.
Many people throughout the
world are affected by hearing loss.
About 360 million people suffer
from some form of hearing loss. It
can be caused by genetic disorders,
birth complications, continuous exposure
to loud noises, aging, ear infections
and many other causes.
There are many resources that
can aid victims of hearing loss such
as hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Less than 10 percent of the need
for hearing aids is met. According
to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number
of jobs for highly qualified sign language
interpereters a n d translators in 2012 was
63,600 and is expected to grow by 46 percent
from 2012 to 2022 .
The median pay for a sign language
interpreter is about $45,430 per
year. To become highly qualified a
Bachelor’s degree is necessary.
Students from each level of
French are encouraged to donate to
the cause, as well as any other students
who want to donate to charity.
The goal is to collect as many items
as possible to donate to the school.
“The school supplies we give to
those students will give them a better
opportunity to make them better
prepared to get the education they
so need,” co-president Maxwell
Cloe said.
Kara Bleecher, the French teacher,
found this program from one of
her students she was teaching.
“I worked at a church this summer
and I was giving lessons to
people who were going to Niger for
two years to work for a school for
the deaf. A student asked me if the
French Club wanted to join up with
her to collect three things in particular
that the school will need,”
Bleecher said.
The French class that collects the
most items will win a prize, but currently
the prize is unknown. The
drive started on November 1 and
ended November 20.
Club meetings are held on the
first Wednesday of the month, and
is a blue club day. Other drives
the club is doing currently is
collecting money for a needy
Hanover student for the holiday
and sponsoring a family
in Haiti.
Also, the French Club will be putting
up posters saying #PeaceforParis,
#StandwithParis and #SupportParis as well as other
posters expressing grief towards the
There are over 50 club members,
and French speaking students or
French enthusiasts are encouraged
to join.


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