GoodNews: Texas School for the Deaf Ranger to Ranger - April 14, 2021

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Welcome to Good News!
Highlighting Achievements and Successes at
the Texas School for the Deaf.

Volume 5, Issue 5
TSD Receives 30 Bikes from 100BikesForKids and woom
Last year, soon after the pandemic closed our state, Juan Soto and his 9-year-old daughter, Lucero, embarked upon a mission to find and fix old bikes so they could give them to kids who did not have a bike. Their goal was to give away 100 bikes to kids, thus the name of their project: 100BikesForKids. 

Within a short time, Juan and Lucero gave over 200 bikes and began working to fulfill a request for bikes for kids who attend TSD.

TV host Mike Rowe got wind of the project and worked together with woom to donate 50 bikes to the 100BikesForKids project--30 of the bikes were set aside for TSD. Juan and his family were featured in an episode of Returning the Favor. 

On April 8th, 100BikesForKids and woom delivered the 30 bikes. The TSD students were ecstatic to ride the bikes. 

One of them said, "I love it. It is the best. I got to go for a really goes fast." Another student shared, "When we got them, I thought it was really cool." 
A maroon truck and trailer is filled with different color woom bikes. The back of the trailer has a sign that reads, "Free Bikes For Kids! Instagram 100BikesForKids.”
Juan Soto and his daughter are being interviewed by the local media.  Next to the father/daughter duo, Claire Champagne stands to interpret their conversation.
An older man helps a young TSD student, Tessa C., assemble a bike while another woman watches them work.
Juan Soto teaches three elementary girls, Julissa S., Zoe T., and McKinzey Y. (left to right) how to assemble a bike.
Students went for a spin on the woom bikes on the TSD road in front of PIP.
Video highlights of the 100BikesForKids and woom event at TSD.
Over 1,200 COVID-19 Vaccines Given
TSD partnered with Tarrytown Pharmacy to host a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic on April 7th.

Geared primarily for the Deaf community, the clinic attracted approximately 1,250 individuals to receive the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine.

TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen was excited about the large turnout and the clinic's approach.  She shared, "The Tarrytown vaccination teams were organized, friendly,  and efficient. The teamwork, camaraderie, and hospitality I saw today from TSD students, staff, and our community was nothing short of amazing."

Brad Power with Tarrytown Pharmacy shared similar appreciation to TSD staff when he remarked, "I want to appreciate you all for organizing a fantastic event... Everyone was in a great mood; they were helpful and caring. The flow of traffic moved very quickly."

There was also some positive feedback from the community. One person said, "Thank you for the fabulous job the school did with the vaccination site." Another person posted on Facebook, "Thank you for this! I got my vaccine last minute, and this was the best!"
Tarrytown Pharmacy staff and volunteers work under a large, white tent.
Two lines of cars have formed with people waiting for their vaccine. Some clinic staff and volunteers walk between the vehicles.
TSD Superintendent Claire Bugen talking with Tarrytown Pharmacy staff.
A Tarrytown Pharmacy nurse stands at the diver side window of a red car, ready to administer the vaccine.
TSD Kids Learn About New Foods
Ever wonder what a star fruit tastes like? 

For the past few months, the cafeteria staff have hosted different Tasting events where students are exposed to foods they more than likely have never experienced before. 

Since Tasting began, students have experienced Gouda cheese, Bok Choi, and star fruit. This exposure complements nutrition education while giving students a fun opportunity to try some healthy options.

As Chef Christophe explains, "To make it entertaining and have students engaged, the cafeteria staff present a display of foods that are similar to what the kids will be tasting. Students are then allowed to examine the shape, smell, and looks before tasting."

Students will be tasting Prosciutto at the next Tasting event on April 14th.  
TSD Food Services flyer is titled Smoked Gouda. The flyer reads, “Join us during lunch on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 for a TASTE. What is Smoked Gouda? Gouda is a nice, semi-hard yellow cheese that is made from cow's milk... With age, the Gouda takes on a stronger flavor and becomes harder. It has a smooth texture, and the flavor is a bit nutty and sweet. Interesting facts about Smoked Gouda.” The flyer also includes a picture of Gouda cheese.
Food Service Manager, Susie Giuntoli, stands on a chair talking to students seated around the circular cafeteria tables.
A top-down view of a bowl full of vegetables is shown.  There is a massive pile of carrots, mushroom, ginger, artichoke, asparagus, yellow pepper, red cabbage, spinach, Bok Choy, and more.
A platter full of fruits is shown, including pineapple, papaya, dragon fruit, bananas, star fruit, and a few more.  The fruits are labeled.  Next to the platter are individual cups of slices of the star fruit.
Student Spotlight: Kaylee H.
TSD middle school student Kaylee H. stars in the new feature film, “Godzilla vs. Kong”. She plays Jia, an orphan who can communicate with Kong using sign language. Together Jia and Kong undertake a perilous journey to find Kong's true home. 

In celebration of Kaylee's screen debut, TSD and Deaf Board Game Center sponsored an opening night special showing at EVO Entertainment in Kyle. Many from TSD and the Deaf community showed up for the event.

Prior to the start of the film, Kaylee, joined with her father, welcomed the crowd, answered some questions, and thanked everyone for their support.

Kaylee's performance has since received countless praises. One cinephile stated, "Her convincing performance as a Deaf Iwi native girl in the film has got people interested to know more about her and her background."

In the first five days of its release, the film has generated over $48.5 million in the box office, a best opening during a pandemic.

Image Description: Kaylee H. portrays Jia, holding up a homemade King Kong doll. Below the image are the following words: TSD'S Kaylee H. stars in the upcoming blockbuster "Godzilla vs. Kong."
The photo shows Kaylee standing next to her dad Joshua in front of the movie screen at the EVO Entertainment Theater.  There is a man standing off to the side by the first row of movie seats who appears to be asking Kaylee a question.
TSD residential students enjoyed the showing as well!
Staff Spotlight: Estefani Garrison
Side-by-side photos of Estefani Garrison are shown.  She is smiling in both photos,  the left showing her as a little girl and the right showing her in present time as an adult.  In the older picture, Stephanie is standing in front of a sign that is partially visible, but it is clear that she is standing at the entrance to TSD’s East Campus.  In her present-day photo, she is a classroom in CTE where she now teaches.
Estefani Garrison is one of TSD's dual-credit Austin Community College (ACC) teachers within the Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Estefani enrolled at TSD when she was five-years-old. After graduating from TSD in 2008, she attended California State University at Northridge (CSUN) to study fashion. She returned to Austin two years later to study graphic design at ACC. Recognizing her potential, she earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design Specialization. 

She then enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) to further her studies in graphic design. She later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design.

Estefanie returned to TSD as a teacher of ACC's dual-credit visual communications courses, an opportunity that allows her to share her experience at ACC and be that conduit between TSD and ACC for prospective Deaf students. Currently, she reaches three courses equivalent to three full semesters: PhotoShop, Illustrator (AI), and InDesign (ID). 

What inspired her to become a teacher was her involvement at Deaf Film Camp in Old Forge, New York, where she taught animation and graphic design to 13-16 year-old youth.

When asked how she thinks her current students are doing in their graphic design courses, she explained that the classes are beneficial yet challenging. They are challenging because students are required to read college-level textbooks that includes advanced English reading. These textbooks have plenty of visual examples, which are helpful. She explained that the courses are beneficial because they enhance creativity and organization skills--two of many core skills desirable to employers.
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