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‘Signing’ Santa Brightens Smiles Of Hearing Impaired Kids

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jeff Ray
Jeff joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in December 2010. He came to North T...
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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano hosted a special visit from a special group of children Thursday.

For the fifth holiday in a row, the mall provided a ‘signing’ Santa for local deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

The kids recognize the suit. The guy in the suit recognizes the language.

Brittney McGee, an instructor at the Pearson Early Childhood School in Plano, brings her class every year.  It’s their favorite field trip.  “We use this field trip as an opportunity for the kids to be able to tell Santa what they want for Christmas,” said McGee.

A total of 17 kids were in her group this year.

This might be a unique Santa, but the wish list is very much not. Janelle Jackson was planning to ask Santa what any five year old would want.

“A bike, a bike,” she signed when asked what was on her list.

The day included a signing choir and a world premiere of a special version of ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift.’  The animated movie had a cast in a picture below the screen signing the dialogue. The teachers said that the kids can read sign language at a young age much faster than they can read closed captioning.

But perhaps the best part was the special holiday display at Willow Dome, a 30-foot ice dome that drops a steady stream of light, fluffy (fake) snow. The kids didn’t want to leave, they were having so much fun. But then again, falling snow has always had a better look than a sound.

And inside the dome it was looking like snow. So in a way for the kids, it today offered not only a special Santa to hear their requests word-by-word… but it was a snow day as well.

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