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Home > Clerc Center > KDES Students Celebrate the Life of Laurent Clerc (1785-1869)

KDES Students Celebrate the Life of Laurent Clerc (1785-1869)

Laurent ClercKDES Celebrates Laurent Clerc (1785-1869)

Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES) students celebrated Laurent Clerc, one of the founders of the first school for the deaf in the United States, on December 10 with a day full of activities related to Clerc's personal history and his support of American Sign Language (ASL). Clerc Center dean Ed Bosso and KDES principal Nancy Berrigan gave opening remarks at the start of the day to honor Clerc. Berrigan asked the students if they would like to meet Clerc. She then brought "Laurent Clerc" (teacher Jennifer Furlano dressed in a dark suit, over-sized white cuffed shirt, and a wild gray wig) on stage and introduced "him" as the famous man from deaf cultural history.

Students from grades three through eight visited sites on the Gallaudet University campus that had items relating to Clerc, including the Merrill Learning Center's collection of Clerc artifacts and the Clerc statue near Fowler Hall. Students from grades six, seven, and eight stopped in for a photo opportunity with Gallaudet president Robert R. Davila and had the chance to see Clerc's walking stick in the president's office.

As part of the day's events, students showed their respect for ASL by creating outstanding presentations for the Marie Jean Philip ASL Poetry, Storytelling, and Deaf Art Competition. The finalists shared their work at the end of the day in the KDES auditorium.

The students enjoyed learning about and celebrating Clerc during this fun-filled day!