Building Community Bridges with ASL

Learning a new language opens doors to new connections and relationships that transform us — just ask anyone who’s studied abroad. Investing in that communication skill opens doors.

But have you ever heard of a whole neighborhood learning a new language together? That’s just what the people who live on Islington Road in Newton, Mass., did — and all to connect with a toddler.

When Raphael and Glenda Savitz take their 2-year-old daughter, Samantha, for a walk on their street, they stop to chat with neighbors. They’d talk about the New England weather and the Sox and the street’s garbage service, but neighbors ran into a barrier when they crouched down to connect with Samantha — she’s deaf.

Instead of seeing it as a fact of life and an insurmountable difference, the neighbors decided to learn how to communicate with her: they gathered together and hired someone to teach them American Sign Language.

It’s a remarkable story about community, and we love the way it illuminates the way any step we take to reach out and bridge a gap opens new doors for relationships that spur new life and transform the world. Check out the whole story here:

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