The Language of Friendship: Girl Learns Sign Language for Best Friend

Local News

EVANSVILLE, INDIANA — It’s a common sight seeing two children playing at a playground with the sounds of laughter and shouting permeating the air. But a scene captured at Delaware Elementary in Evansville showing two kindergartners, Cori Outlaw and Isabella Coulter, playing together is a little more uncommon.

“I saw him signing about the trees,” Darlene Wallace, a teacher at Delaware, said. “He loves trees and telling her, ‘You can’t go in the water.'”

Cori and Isabella are both kindergartners at Delaware Elementary, best friends sharing a special bond: sign language.

“Some of them communicate with their hands,” Wallace said. “Some of them communicate with their voices. And some of them communicate with both.”

Cori is one of the students in Wallace’s class for the deaf and hard of hearing.

“I teach them to be proud that they’re deaf and we have differences like everybody,” she said.

Wallace said Isabella decided to learn sign language to be able to talk with her best friend.

“She’s just picked it up along the way,” she said. “They can’t go into the hearing world, but the hearing world can come into their world.”

While tests at school may look more at language arts, math and science, Wallace said there is no way to measure the love and friendship shared between these two kindergartners.

“I just love it,” she said. “It just warms my heart because my kids just want to be just like anybody else.”

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