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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | lmelton@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8830
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November 10, 2011
Susan Banovetz | Director of External Affairs | 218 726-6141 | banovetz@d.umn.edu
Christiana Kapsner | Public relations assistant | 218 726-8830 | ckapsner@d.umn.edu


UMD Students Establish ASL Club

Zoo-Signing
Public Invited to "Zoo-Signing" Safari

Take an American Sign Language (ASL) trek of Lake Superior Zoo as part of the UMD ASL Club and Access for All student organizations' "Zoo-Signing" Safari, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat., November 12, at the Lake Superior Zoo. During the walk, club members will teach the ASL signs for the animals and exhibits.

Admission will be free for the first 10 people who attend the event, compliments of the ASL Club and Access for All (AFA). The event will take place rain or shine, and will begin inside the zoo lobby next to the admissions window. The group tour will begin promptly at 11:15. To reserve tickets, e-mail umdnews@d.umn.edu.

"This is a wonderful chance for the ASL Club to teach the signs we've been learning," said the ASL Club founder and president, Kendra Eisenschenk, a UMD sophomore. "We have a dedicated and amazing group of students who want to share their knowledge, to reach out to the Duluth community, and to raise awareness about the gift of signing and communicating with ASL."

The inspiration for Zoo-Signing Safari came, in part, from Eisenschenk's experience working this past summer with Korean children at a day camp held at Roseville Area Middle School, in the Twin Cities. A business management major, Eisenschenk worked with the students to connect them with others through dance, song, and other activities on the performance "Bridges to Friendship," modeled after the popular television show, Glee.

"I wanted to recreate the positivity that came from my experience working with children this summer and with people who some times don't feel like they fit in," said Eisenschenk. She partnered with the Access for All student organization to create UMD's ASL Club, designed to create a welcoming environment for people with a passion for sign language and a place for people who are interested in ASL. Participants network, learn, and teach each other. Not limited to those who are knowledgeable in the language, the club wants to expand people's abilities to communicate.

The Lake Superior Zoo-Signing Safari is the first of several events being planned by the ASL Club.

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