Hearing-impaired students visit signing Santa at Dadeland Mall

By Ivonne Snavely….

These hearing impaired students had no problem communicating their holiday wishes to Santa using sign language.

Jolly Saint Nick made a very special stop at Dadeland Mall recently to visit more than 50 hard of hearing children from area schools. With a big smile and quick hand movements, the students were able to communicate with Santa, who also is hard of hearing, and told him what they want for Christmas.

During the two-hour event the children, ages 3-12, happily shared their wish lists and took a free photograph with Santa. Signing Santa also surprised each child with an early Christmas gift.

“It was amazing to see the kids’ faces light up,” said Cheryl Mullininx, certified sign language interpreter at Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ Department of Special Education. “Normally they cannot communicate in sign language with Santa without having an adult translator present. They were excited that Santa knew how to sign and that made them feel connected.”

The children watched performances of “Frosty the Snowman” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” by local high school American Sign Language clubs. They also enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Chick-fil-A.

This is the second year Dadeland Mall has partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools during the holiday season to bring smiles to children who are hard of hearing.

Participating schools included Auburndale Elementary School, Gulfstream Elementary School, Hibiscus Elementary School, Kenwood K-8 Center and Madarin Lakes K-8 Center.

For more information about Dadeland Mall and its holiday programs and retailer offers, visit online at www.simon.com.

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