DHH students win a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific


Six DHH students were rewarded with a ride to the Aquarium of the Pacific in a limousine for their achievement in the Reading Counts Program. (F. Cervantes)

News Editor 
Six students in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program (DHH) have been rewarded for their achievements in the Reading Counts Program (RCP).
RCP is a recent program created to promote reading for DHH students in order to help develop their literacy skills.
The DHH program has a library, with books ranging from pre-primers up to adult literacy.
Each book is worth a certain amount of points and at the end of the semester the points that students accumulate from reading are added up.
The set goal for each semester is to reach at least 40 points.
Only six students from the DHH program were able to reach this goal for the 2017-18 school year’s first semester.
The students were taken to the Aquarium of the Pacific in a limousine and later had lunch at Chili’s as a reward.
“[RCP] is really there to encourage our students to read,” DHH teacher Ms. Jill Young said. “Deaf students tend to be delayed in reading so it’s so important that we get them to read as much as possible.”
The program divides points according to the individual reading levels of the students.
For example, the students in the higher level English classes would receive ten points, the students in the middle level English classes would receive 20 points, while the kids at the lowest class would receive 30 points for the same book.
“We have a wide variety of students in different classes,” Young said. “We have students who are in a community-based instruction class, [which] teaches hands-on life skills, all the way up to students in mainstream classes.”
“Any of those students can participate in this program,” Young said.
The RCP is continued throughout the year.
At every DHH assembly, which happens every other month, students who have read a book are entered in a drawing.
The four names that are picked receive Starbucks gift cards.
The money for the awards are either donated by DHH staff or by outside sources.
Previous awards range from laptops and iPads to trips to Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.
DHH also has a literacy project with the help of the Orange County Deaf Literacy Project (OCDLP), which funds many of these activities, such as the recent trip to the Aquarium.
The OCDLP is led by one of the DHH teachers and a majority of DHH staff are on the board.
“We see that students that read are doing better at school and are in the more advanced classes, and are able to go to college,” Young said.
For this second semester everyone that reaches the goal will be awarded the opportunity to go to an Angels game.