South Carroll roundup: 'Little Hands Signing' program coming to Eldersburg branch library

Kathy MacMillan with her son, JX, sign the word “dragon.” MacMillan is presenting the program “Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs” at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library on June 16.
Kathy MacMillan with her son, JX, sign the word “dragon.” MacMillan is presenting the program “Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs” at the Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library on June 16. (courtesy photo/Alex Williams)

The Eldersburg branch of the Carroll County Public Library is presenting the Little Hands Signing: Summer Signs program on June 16.

Summer Signs is a program that will expose kids to sign language through songs, games, and other activities.


This program will be presented by Kathy MacMillan, who is the author of "Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together" (Huron Street Press) and a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter.

According to MacMillan, she came up with the idea to have this program at the library. She stated in an email interview that she has been presenting this program throughout the Mid-Atlantic since 2005.


MacMillan was the Children's Services Supervisor at the Eldersburg library in the 1990s and during that time she was studying American Sign Language. She then received a degree in ASL interpreting and became a nationally certified ASL interpreter.

Because of her studies, she came up with the idea of building a program to introduce ASL to hearing audiences.

"The 'Little Hands Signing' programs are specifically geared to babies, toddlers, and preschoolers along with their caregivers. Each class is theme-based and teaches basic signs through stories, songs, and hands-on activities, while also providing information for caregivers about how to use signs with their children every day to smooth communications, reduce tantrums, and enhance bonding," stated MacMillan.

MacMillan also explained that this program will be presented in English, and throughout it she will be introducing basic ASL vocabulary.


According to MacMillan, babies can sign long before they can speak; some as young as three months old. She said that learning sign language could help enhance communication, interpersonal skills, spoken language development, early literacy skills, and bonding.

Throughout the program, she said that both adults and children will have the opportunity to learn the signs together.

For MacMillan, learning how to sign for kids is a skill that "allows young children deeper access to communication, and learning even the basics of ASL gives them a better understanding of ASL and the Deaf Community as they get older."

For children with speech delays, sensory processing issues, or hearing loss, signing is a necessary lifeline. The most important skill young children have to develop is communication, because that is what allows them to get all of their other needs met and learn more about the world.

MacMillan also explained that this program is also targeted to adults because it opens their minds to a new language. She stated that many people do not know or "don't realize" that sign language is a "real language" and it is not universal.

For more information about MacMillan's work, you may visit her website www.storiesbyhand.com.

This program will be presented on June 16 and they will have two separate times; one at 9:45 a.m. for kids birth to 24 months, and the second one at 11 a.m. for kids 2 to 6 years old.

There will be a theme for each class and the kids are welcome to come with their caregivers, parents, and siblings.

For more information, you may contact the library at 410-386-4460. The Eldersburg branch library is located at 6400 W Hemlock Drive.

Corvettes bringing the thunder to Sykesville

A National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) -sanctioned car show brings to you all of the makes and models of the Corvette on June 24 in Sykesville.

Throughout this event, people will be able to enjoy the car show, food, and entertainment. There will be door prizes and 50/50 drawings. At 2 p.m. they will be hosting an awards ceremony.

Also, all of the money collected will be donated to the CCCM Charities.

Admission to this event is $35 per person. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 12 p.m. and this event will be hosted rain or shine.

The American Thunder Car Show is sponsored by Jeff Barnes Chevrolet, PNC Bank, and Classic Corvette Club Of Maryland.

This event will be held on Md. 26 and 32 in Sykesville.

For more information, contact Jerry Sipes at 443-789-2838 or Grant Ridgley at 443-904-3871.

Mount Airy's fire company heroes

The Mount Airy branch of the Carroll County Public Library welcomes the Mount Airy Volunteer Fire Company heroes.

The Mount Airy library will be hosting a Fire Truck Visit on Saturday, June 17 starting at 11 a.m.

Everyone is welcome to come and meet the local heroes and enjoy a story time, a presentation from the fire fighters, and the opportunity to see the firetruck up close.

People are welcome to bring their cameras.

The Fire Truck Visit is a program part of A Celebrating America.

You may register your kids today by contacting the library at 410-386-4488.

The library is located at 705 Ridge Ave, Mount Airy.

Sharina Taveras Lopez covers Eldersburg, Sykesville, Mount Airy, Winfield, Taylorsville and neighboring communities. Reach her at st008@connections.mcdaniel.edu.