Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tierney Visits Students at Local School for the Deaf

                                                                            (Photo by Angela Rodriguez)
L-R CCC President Mark Carlson, Congressman John Tierney,
and interpreter Desiree Weems reading to preschoolers.
By Angela Rodriguez
Gordon College News Service
October 19, 2011

(This story appeared October 19, 2011, in The Boston Globe, Beverly.) 

BEVERLY, MA –The children’s book
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed might not be a typical text for a congressman’s speech. But on Tuesday, October 18, that’s exactly what Congressman John Tierney chose as he read from an iPad to a class of preschoolers at the Children’s Center for Communication (CCC) also known as Beverly School for the Deaf (BSD). Tierney toured the local school and read to the children as an outreach to see what is happening in the districts he represents, and the improvements that have been made to the school.

“I’ve known John Tierney for years, and I wanted to see if we could get him to come visit,” said Jane McNally, director of development at CCC/BSD. “We just wanted to show him the new building, the new technology piece in particular.”

CCC/BSD opened their new wing last spring, expanding their building to 45,000 square feet. Senator Scott Brown visited last month to see the new improvements. “We now have a library, now have a lunch room, now have an art and music room,” said Mark Carlson, president and executive director for CCC/BSD.

“This is a nice opportunity to show him (Tierney) what we’ve done and how it’s improved in the last 135 years,” Carlson said. “He’s always been a good friend, and he’s always made a connection to the place and not forgotten the educational institutions of the North Shore.”

Tierney toured the new building with its many new rooms, and learned about how the school has enhanced their programs to reach not only the deaf, but also children with other disabilities. CCC/BSD is now offering programs for children with autism or bipolar disorder, and have offered help to children in local schools on the North Shore through their programs. With 60 children on campus with the year-round program, they serve another 160 kids at programs throughout the area.

“I’ve known this school has been here, and I know many on the board. It’s important to see the challenges the education institutions face, and as an elected official, make those challenges known,” said Congressman Tierney. “I have always, as well as (my wife) Patrice, been involved in educational programs like these. We might even be helpful.”

Tierney concluded his tour of the new wing by sitting and reading to preschoolers the rhyming story of
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by author Eileen Christelow. He used one of the school’s many iPads that help the children in communication, while President Carlson showed the children the pictures on another iPad. The children followed along through an interpreter.

“It’s great to see what has developed and what has changed with these visits, and to look at the people working here,” said Tierney. “We have so much negative, and we can take some positive out of this place for people to see.”


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