Story by Olivia Carey

Taking a language offers students the opportunity to not only learn another language, but to educate themselves about an entirely different culture. In Henrico County, an advanced diploma requires students to take three years of one world language or two years each of two world languages. A standard diploma requires two fine arts, career and technical education, or world language credits.

Students have their choice of Spanish, French, Latin, or German to fill one of their elective periods with and complete their language requirement. However, there has been a recent addition to the list of available languages.

American Sign Language I will be offered as a pilot elective course at Glen Allen High School in the 2015-2016 school year. It will count towards one world language credit.

In order to be eligible for the course, the student cannot have any prior formal instruction in ASL, cannot be a rising senior, must commit to taking at least two consecutive years of ASL, and must be able to provide themselves transportation to Glen Allen High School and back to their own school. The early bird class meets Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 am to 8:20 am.

Godwin students can apply for ASL through an online Google application form or by visiting with their counselors. Course participants will be chosen through a lottery system and notified of their acceptance on Mar. 20.

According to Director of counseling Deanna Hudson, only two students have signed up for the class as of Mar. 10. “I have received little information about this class, but would assume we would get more information once students have signed up and final decisions are made,” said Hudson.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and to be given the opportunity is a great experience to learn something different than a normal oral language,” said sophomore Michael Whitty. Whitty is in the process of deciding whether or to apply for ASL.

Some students wish that the course had been available sooner. Current juniors and seniors will miss out on it. “Sign language sounds like such a cool class to take, and I just wish that they had offered it sooner so that I could have applied for it,” said senior Catherine Moss.

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