X
GO
Plainfield HS student helping Sunny Hill residents communicate with sign
Tammy Reiher
/ Categories: News, Press Releases, Home Page

Plainfield HS student helping Sunny Hill residents communicate with sign

“We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas,

We wish you a Merry Christmas

And a Happy New Year.”

    JOLIET -- “Stack your fists… and go around,” Madison “Madi” Curran instructs her class, teaching the students the sign for “new year.”

The 17-year-old Plainfield Central High School student and her mother, Penny Curran, have been traveling to Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County every Tuesday afternoon for about 18 months, where Madi, with Mom at her side, teaches sign language to residents.

Fresh off of a performance at the Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Nov. 3, where the group signed to My Country Tis of Thee, I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You and God Bless America, the class is preparing for its next performance.

The group, four women on a recent Tuesday afternoon, will perform a trio of Christmas carols during the Home for the Holidays event from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10. The signing carolers will travel to each of the floors, or Avenues as they are called at the county-owned nursing home, and perform We Will You a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock and Elvis Presley’s Blue Christmas.

Their numbers will bookend the Irish dancers who will also be performing, giving the dancers a break from their demanding routines.

Merging interests

Were it not for two of Madi’s interests, it’s safe to say this class would never have materialized.

Madi said as a freshman in high school she wanted to take French, but had problems conjugating verbs.

Her mother suggested she take American Sign Language. The Currans lived in California when Madi was in first grade and her teacher signed a song to the students every morning. Penny reminded her daughter how much she enjoyed that.

Now in her fourth year of American Sign Language, she is a teacher’s aide.

She also has been taking Irish Dance for the past decade. It was through her dancing that she first came to Sunny Hill for a performance and she will be performing again on Dec. 10.

Soon after, she started volunteering in the facility’s Sweet Shoppe, dishing out ice cream on Saturdays. It was then she noticed how some residents struggled to communicate and decided to help. Her sign language class was born.

    “Making them happy is what I’m here for,” said Madi. “… to help them communicate is what I’m here for.”

Among the first signs she taught them were pain, emergency and please.

When it all comes together and the women remember their signs, she said she feels like a mom. Or when they start putting signs together by themselves.

    “I feel like that proud soccer mom who sees her kid score their first goal,” she said, adding how they have all become friends.

    “They’re my ladies. We’re all like a family now.”

And she takes care of them like family. In American Sign Language, when there isn’t a sign for a word, the word is spelled out, she explained. Those movements are too small for the residents so she adapts signs for them to use.

Penny said that when the class started, the residents didn’t know each other, but now were planning to get together and practice on their own.

    “We’ve got several ladies who say they want to do it and then don’t,” Penny added. “But they’ll sit on the sidelines and sign along.”

It’s not just the residents who will benefit, said Danette Krieger, Activity Director and Volunteer Coordinator at Sunny Hill.

    “As a next step, we’d like to offer basic sign language to our staff,” she said.

Sign of the future

Madi, who hopes to become a trauma surgeon in a major metropolitan area such as New York, has already been accepted into several area colleges. She doesn’t know which one she will eventually attend, but she knows that for the foreseeable future she will continue teaching her class at Sunny Hill, working it in around her college courses.

Her devotion earned her the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award at Sunny Hill in June.

    She is modest about the award, saying, “There are people who do more for the community than I do.”

    The class always ends with warm embraces. “Give me a hug, beautiful,” Madi says, beginning her good-byes. “I’m so proud of all of you. From the Veterans Day (ceremony) to this, I’m so proud of you.”

Sunny Hill Nursing Home is led by Administrator Karen Sorbero and is under the office of Will County Executive Larry Walsh. For additional information about the facility, go to www.willcountyillinois.com or find it on Facebook.

Previous Article Public Hearing: Will County Planning & Zoning Commission 12.06.16
Next Article Workforce Center of Will County weekly job fair to be Nov. 30
Print
5451
 

Tammy ReiherTammy Reiher

Public Information Officer

Other posts by Tammy Reiher

Contact author

x
Press Contacts

Anastasia Tuskey
Communications Director
Ph: 815-740-8376

Tammy Reiher
Public Information Officer
Ph: 815-774-7485

«May 2021»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2526272829
Will County honors 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Will County honors 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

Calm, cool, collected. The 145 highly trained professionals who operate Will County’s 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System (ETS) are always available to offer assistance to those in need. These everyday heroes are not the people who arrive on scene to render aid but they are responsible for answering 316,000 9-1-1 calls annually and ensuring the proper aid is directed to the correct location. Recently, the ETS honored telecommunicators for their outstanding service.
Read more
301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345

Tags

100th birthday 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Passport event 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone System Board acting Chief Judge David Carlson adult detention affordable agricultural Alison.com All Nations Church of God in Christ Alzheimer's walk America Recycles Day American Legion Post 1080 American Recycles Day American Rescue Plan Animal Control appointments Arsenal Road assistance bars BBQ luncheon Becky Haldorson behavioral health bertino tarrant Bertino-Tarrant block grants boards Bolingbrook Park District bonds book event book recycling book recycling and reuse event book reuse and recycling Brayden Caraynoff-Haber Bruce Gould building permits businesses call center career career coaching Caroline Portlock cash reserves CBS 2 Chicago CDC census certification Charles Schad Charlotte Mather chicago Street children's Christina Snitko Citizen Utility Board Citizens Utility Board city closings Clothes 4 Work CMAP ComEd commissions Community Development of Block Grant community health computers Congressman Foster contact tracing cooling centers cornerstone services coronavirus cost savings council county county board chairs county departments County Executive Denise Winfrey County Executive Larry Walsh county government County Office Building covid covid-19 COVID-19 crisis COVID-19 vaccination covid-19 vaccine C-Pace cultural Curt Paddock Danette Krieger Dave Nichols David Dubois daylight savings dea Deborah Alexander Deirdre Manigo Denise Winfrey dental Diane Brozman digital safety Director Curt Paddock disorder distressed Don Gould Dr. L.P. Schild drainage district drive-through job fair drug disposal drug take back early voting Earth Day Earth Flag Awards Easter Eastside Green House economic development Eden Community Garden electronic recycling electronics recycling EMA agency emergency Emergency Management Agency employment energy and conservation survey energy conservation energy efficiency Erin Kohl Ethics Adviser Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant extreme heat fair housing february federal federal funding fees financial savings fire protection district fiscal health flouride flu food bank forklift drivers Frankfort Township Friends of Sunny Hill funding future gardening Gertrude Hoover Gloria Dollinger Go Solar Good Friday green energy Green Team groundbreaking Harold Damron health Health Department healthcare heroin legislation forum hero helps addiction trea Historic Preservation Commission holiday holiday bazaar holiday gift show and luncheon holiday string lights holidays HOME home improvements hospital Household Hazardous Waste HVAC IDPH Illinois Extension Service Illinois Recycling Foundation indoor dining indoor recreation industrial insulation interview interviiew James Ingram Janine Farrell Jason Holicky Jeff Hubrich Jennifer Bertino Tarrant Jesse Cruitt JJC City Center Campus Joan O'Keefe job creation job fair job fair in-a-bag job search jobs Joe Malacina Joe Van Duyne John Greuling John Ocansey Joliet Joliet Arsenal Development Advisory Board Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk Joliet Park District Joliet Slammers Joyce Parker Judge David Carlson Judy Ogalla Karen Sorbero Kathy Pecora Land Use Department Laraway Communications Center Larry Walsh Lauren Staley Ferry Lewis University library lighting fixtures lincoln's birthday LInkedIn liquor license Madison Curran Maggie McDowell maintenance Margaret McDowell Marta Keane Marth Sojka mask mass vaccination clinis material handlers mechanic medicaid Melissa Hemzacek Memorial Day mental health Meta Mueller Michael Hennessey Midwest Classics on 66 Museum Midwest Renewable Energy Association Mike Bell mitigations Mobile Workforce Center Monee Park District Monee Township Moody Investor Service mortgage assistance Moving Will County municipal museums Music and memory NACo National Community Development Week National Hookup of Black Women National Recycling Coalition nctv 17 neuter/spay new year's day Nick Palmer non profit Northeastern Illinois operators opioids Organix Pam Rodriguez pandemic paper shredding Pastor Dwayne Barfield Penny Curran permits pfizer phase 4 Pilcher Park Pilcher Park Nature Center Plainfield United Methodist portal Prairie State Legal Services President Biden presidents day public building public safety pumpkin composting Pumpkin Pitch quarantine Rain barrels rain gardens rating recovery recreation Recyclepalooza recycling Recycling Connections register registration renewable natural gas renewals rent assistance reopen residential residents Resource Recovery and Energy Resource Recovery and Energy Division resource room resources restaurants restore illinois resume Resume Gallery Rethink Water campaign ribbon rng plant Rolonda Mitchell Roy Strong rural historic structures safety Samantha Bluemer Savers Savers. WJOL schedule school bus driver school garden Scott Kettman Scott Slocum security officers Seeds of Change Grant Program Senior Services Center seniors Sharefest shelter Sherry Newquist sick sign language skills small business grants smoke detectors social events solar solar group buy Solarize Chicagoland spay Spirit of Community Caring Award spring 2021 St. Vincent DePaul Standard and Poor's stay home substance use Substance Use Initiatives Sue Olenek suicide Sunny Hill Nursing Home Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County Susan Flessner Susan Olenek swimming pools taxpayers Ted Slowik telecommunicators testing textile and shoe collection textile collection textile recycling The Daily Southtown The Friends of Sunny Hill Inc. thermal Three Rivers Association of Realtors tier 1 Tim Anderson tire collection Todd Fonfara toys r us training transportation treatment union labor unused prescriptions update USAgain vaccination vaccinations vaccine vaccine clinic veterans Veterans Day veterinarian virtual vision and hearing screening vow renewal warming centers Warren-Sharpe Community Center Washington Township Wayne Breitbarth We WILL Build We Will Grow Garden Program weather related closings wescom West Nile Virus will Will County Will County Board Will County Center for Community Concerns Will County Clerk Will County Executive Will County Executive Denise Winfrey Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant Will County Executive Larry Walsh Will County Executive Larry Walsh Midwest Renewabl Will County Farm Bureau Will County Health Department Will County Historic Preservation Commission Will County Land Use Department Will County Office Building Will County Office Buildng will county sheriff Will County TB clinic Will County Veterans Affairs Commission Will County Workforce Center Will County Workforce Services Division William E. Young School WJOL Workforce Center of Will County Workforce Investment Board Workforce Services Division Workforce Services Division of Will County Workforce Services Division releases November work workshops xray Youth Provider Workshop