Rachel Coleman of ‘Signing Time’ live in Camden

Posted May 13, 2011, at 2:07 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — Thousands of families in the Northeast have been touched by “Signing Time,” the hit PBS show that introduced American Sign Language to children across the nation. Now, for the first time, these families can see host Rachel Coleman perform, live. During her stay in the area, Coleman also will be speak to a group of parents of children with hearing loss at the Maine Education Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, through the Maine Newborn Hearing Program.

Coleman, host of “Signing Time,” will perform for children and families in Mid-Coast Maine at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 21, at Camden Opera House.  The Signing Time Foundation community event will be interpreted in American Sign Language for deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons.

Coleman, who co-created “Signing Time” as a means to teach children of all abilities how to communicate using American Sign Language (ASL), has seen firsthand the miracles that can come from using sign language. As the mother of a daughter who is deaf, and another who has cerebral palsy and spina bifida, Coleman has spent the last few years making sign language fun and accessible for all children through the “Signing Time” series. Whether used by a pre-verbal infant, a non-verbal child with disabilities or a family who simply wants to learn ASL as a second language, “Signing Time” reaches children with diverse learning styles and encourages interaction through signing, singing, speaking and moving.

For the past seven years, “Signing Time” has been dedicated to proving the benefits and positive impact of sign language on children of all abilities. While most people regard sign language as something only for the deaf community, thousands of parents are seeing that all children can accelerate their language and reading development through the unique blend of sign language, written word, song and video modeling used in “Signing Time.”

This event is made possible through ticket sales, company sponsors and individual donors. Also essential are the volunteers who will donate their time and energy. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Signing Time Foundation. Donations made online or at the concert also will benefit the Signing Time Foundation, and will be tax-deductible. Tickets are $10, $5 children and may  be purchased at http://signingtimefoundation.org/maine or at the door.