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North Vancouver School District
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Apr 13
Students make their mark at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Connections Week

By Rhena Tevendale, Hearing Resource Teacher

For this year’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Connections Week, which took place April 7-9, the Provincial Outreach Program: Deaf & Hard of Hearing organized two main events: Friendship Day and the annual Provincial Optimist Speech Competition.

Friendship Day is a day intended to foster connections among Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students, help them develop a strong sense of belonging and community, and provide students with learning opportunities through DHH role models.


This year, a fun interactive Zoom session with a world-famous clown, physical actor and mime, Max Fomitchev took place. Max-i-mine is a seasoned Cirque du Soleil artist with many years of experience.

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Five North Vancouver School District classes from Brooksbank, Ross Road and Carisbrooke participated in this event. Students enjoyed learning to mime everything from various emotions, to pulling ropes, climbing and being in a box or behind walls. For an example, view Max Fomitchev’s mime workshop:



The annual Provincial Optimist Speech Competition is a much-anticipated event. In the past, students and Teachers of the Deaf would fly in from around B.C. to participate at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby. This year, the event took place virtually. 

Shea Jackson, grade 8, from Sutherland Secondary, and Leona Cormack, grade 10, from Handsworth Secondary, participated. Shea and Leona prepared and presented speeches on this year's topic, "Healing the World with Optimism," and did a wonderful job. Leona placed second and won an iPad, and Shea placed first and won an iPad and a $300 bursary. Congratulations to Shea and Leona!


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