For the last several months, the students have been learning words. The older students had a list of eighty words. The younger ones fifty. They studied them regularly. Learning to spell them correctly. Learning the meaning. Learning the sign. Much time spent reviewing and practicing.

Today was the day. Time for the competition. Who knew their words the best?

First, there was a written test. For the older ones, sentences were written with a word left out. They needed to decide which of the eighty fit best. The younger ones looked at drawings and then spelled out the words.

Then, everyone met in the church building. One class at a time went up front. My class, only Joel, showed the signs of the colors and the alphabet. Then Margretta’s class. First the sign was made and they spelled the word. Then the word was spelled and they made the sign. Then Mari’s class. Then Wesley’s. Then the winner of Mari’s class and Wesley’s class competed.


The last two competitors were two sisters. Ana, who has a track record of winning. And her younger sister, Teresa. Both had perfect scores from the first round. The second round, Ana had all the words correct, while Teresa spelled one wrong.

The air was tight. Suspense. The children were sent out, while the final scores were computed. To get the final winner, the two test scores were combined. Both the written exam and the finger-spelling.

The winners:

First class: Joel (dont mention that he was the only student); Second class: Paola; Third and Fourth class together: Teresa (pictured below with her teacher, Mari)

Though Ana had a perfect score in finger-spelling, Teresa had a much better score in the written exam.

Second and third place were also recognized in the older group. Ana was second and Kevin Alexander third.

It was a great day! Seeing the deaf children competing. Seeing some of them wish they had studied more. And seeing the sense of accomplishment from those who had disciplined themselves in learning and reviewing the words.