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PHS Celebrates Maine's Deaf Culture Week

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PHS Celebrates Maine's Deaf Culture Week
Posted on 09/29/2021
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Maine's Deaf Culture Week was September 19-25. Recent Portland High School graduate Anneke Barnard discussed her book, “Heaven's Ghosts,” with PHS students from the The Maine Educational Center of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Governor Baxter School for the Deaf Governor Baxter School for the Deaf.

She explained why she was inspired to have a deaf protagonist in her first novel: “I loved the duality of his character and the irony of his situation. He is stuck between so many different things: He is deaf but can hear; he is alive but communes with the dead; he is deaf and on occasion needs an interpreter and yet is an interpreter for ghosts. The other reason I made Sam deaf was because of my mom; Sam is inspired in many ways by her childhood; she grew up with two deaf parents but was hearing herself and like Sam she was between the two communities.”

Darleen Michalec, Governor Baxter School for the Deaf instructor, brought her students to the presentation.  She said, “It is important to have Deaf characters portrayed in books as well in the entertainment industry. When Deaf students read about someone like them, it helps open up their imagination and fosters their ability to want to read more. This helps increase confidence in who they are. Not to mention showing that there is an alumna from their high school that wrote the book helps them feel connected."