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Submitted by Ashley Jacobs on Tue, 01/28/2014 - 6:00pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Jenny Walters doesn't miss an opportunity to educate. She even turned the Teacher of the Week surprise into a lesson...discussing surprises and celebrations with her kindergarten class. She's taking hands-on learning to a whole new level by bringing sign language into each lesson. It all started with the inspiration from a single student years ago. "I had a student who was hearing impaired," Walters said. "I did everything I could to help him communicate within the classroom." She soon realized he wasn't the only benefiting from sign language - her whole room flourished. Now they all learn new letters and words every day. "Working with five years old," she paused, "it is a hands-on approach we can use to make learning more fun." And fun it is. Whether they're singing and signing songs or using descriptive words to describe animals...they're exercising their minds and little fingers. Walters even had students help her publish a book on signing and distributed it to libraries all over New Hanover County. She also used grant money to have an American Sign Language (ASL) painted in her classroom. Though it may sound like she's accomplished a lot, she still has dreams for her room and students. "I want to spend the rest of my life, right here," Walters said. "That's my goal!"

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