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
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.
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!