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Parkdale to offer sign language, dance as electives in upcoming school year

With registration for all students now open, many are trying to figure out what electives they could take that would appeal to their interest and be beneficial towards their future.  Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Parkdale will be offering new electives including dance for athletes and American Sign Language (ASL).

Electives help students expand their creativity on certain aspects that can later further them in a career. Colleges and universities looking to enroll students also look for certain electives students have taken in high school that could benefit them.

With the introduction of two new electives, many students are excited to take advantage of these opportunities that could really benefit them in the long run.

Junior Nelson Gomez plans on signing up for ASL during his senior year.

“It could maybe benefit me one day at a job or career I might want,” he said.

According to the National Institute of Deafness, there are roughly 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in one or both ears. Although some students may not be directly affected by deafness, learning the language could prove to be very beneficial.

Speechbuddy.com explained the five ways sign language benefits the hearing (people who do not experience deafness). They say improvement of motor skills and communication skills are two reasons that learning sign language can be very useful.

For students who may have already completed their language requirements, dance for athletes is another elective being added. With this elective, the curriculum will teach students that dance isn’t  just an activity for “fun” but also an art and a skill.

Although the teacher for this class has not yet be assigned, Parkdale dance coach Ms. Berryman believes dance as an elective will benefit many students interested in the art.

“I think dance is important because it is a way of expression and not just a physical activity,” she explained. “It is significant to our society because of the changes made based off the expression of dance.” Dance can benefit not only the ones simply interested in the art, but also students who want to find a way to express themselves and show a little of who they are.

While some students may be skeptical about signing up for unconventional electives for next year, Ms. Berryman hopes others are willing to give it a chance.

“For those who don’t seem to really get the point,” she said, “I’d just say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.”