Register Now for Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom eCourse

Sign Language for Children in Storytime or in the Classroom: A Practical Guide eCourse

Instructor: Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning Monday, April 8, 2019 and continuing for 6 weeks (Participants will have 12 weeks to complete course materials.)

$250.00 (ALA Members $225.00)

Click here to register.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 36 (Certificate of Completion available upon request)

American Sign Language is most commonly used in storytimes for babies, but the applications can go much further. In this new 6-week eCourse, Sign Language expert Kathy MacMillan explores the benefits of signing with all children. In addition to learning basic American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary appropriate for use with children in library and classroom settings, you will also learn to teach stories, songs, and other activities that incorporate ASL. MacMillan provides you with a linguistic and cultural context to help make your programming more accessible.

After participating in this eCourse, you will:

  • Have a working knowledge of approximately 180 signs (introduced through video)
  • Create two storytime/classroom activities using the featured vocabulary that you can implement in your storytimes
  • Understand relevant aspects of child development and early literacy
  • Understand signing in a linguistic and cultural context

Feedback from past participants:

“One of the most well-organized and rewarding professional development courses I’ve taken.”

“Kathy is an amazing instructor. She made learning online very easy and comfortable. She replied quickly when students had questions and she responded with feedback with videos to help sign better.”

“I am amazed. It couldn’t have gone better. I came away learning many signs I can use and gained some helpful information for my storytimes.”

“The instructor was phenomenal, and I am already incorporating course work into everyday interactions in the library. Everything in the course is relevant and beneficial.”

Instructor Kathy MacMillan is a writer and nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter. She is the author of Nita’s First Signs (Familius Press), as well as the author or co-author of many books from ALA Editions, including Little Hands & Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together and the Storytime Magic series. She was the library/media specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005 and has worked in public libraries since 1996. She presents storytelling programs introducing sign language through Stories By Hand and offers training and resources for enhancing storytimes through Storytime Stuff. She is also the author of the young adult fantasy novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperTeen).

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Read This!: IMMERSE by Tobie Easton

Immerse (Mer Chronicles #3)Immerse by Tobie Easton

Summary: Lia can’t wait for her parents’ coronation. Now living in the sparkling palace beneath the waves, she sneaks off to Malibu whenever possible to see Clay. Tucked away in an abandoned seaside mansion, Lia and Clay devise a plan to ensure they can stay together forever. But when an old enemy resurfaces and Lia is restricted to the palace for the safety of all Merkind, she and Clay are ripped apart once more. She fears not only for Clay, but for her best friend Caspian, who seems to be swimming down a dangerous path. He has invited the conniving Melusine to the coronation ball, convinced she’s capable of change. And no matter how hard Lia fights it, showing up on Caspian’s arm is just the start of Melusine’s insidious return to her life. With threats Below growing more ominous by the day and a powerful ancient ritual looming, soon the two girls can’t escape each other. As their fates grow increasingly intertwined, Melusine might be the only one who can help Lia find the answers she desperately needs to save everyone she loves and to achieve her happily ever after. But can Lia trust her? 

EMERGE gave a thrilling love story; SUBMERGE let us delve deeper into Tobie Easton’s meticulously built underwater world. Now, with IMMERSE, the triumphant conclusion to the Mer trilogy, Easton challenges the reader’s assumptions, letting us see Lia, the great heroine who saved the Mer, from the perspective of her enemy, Melusine. As the two characters play off one another in alternating point of view chapters, the strengths and flaws of both are thrown into sharp relief, reminding us how easy it is to dismiss what we don’t understand. Despite all they’ve been through, they face their greatest challenge when the two of them – one impulsive, warm, and sheltered, the other cool, distant, and calculating – must come together to stop a plot that would destroy the human world. This is a series finale that has it all: sigh-worthy romance, nail-biting adventure, and a gripping story of two very different girls navigating the shifting tides of family and societal expectations.

IMMERSE is out now.

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Register now for Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language: A 90-minute webinar

Thursday, March 28, 2018, 2:30pm Eastern/1:30pmCentral/12:30pm Mountain/11:30am Pacific

Presented by Kathy MacMillan, NIC, M.L.S.

Signing with young children of any hearing ability fosters bonding, stimulates language development, and reduces frustration for caregiver and child. Learn how to use sign language in storytimes to broaden their appeal and make them more participative. In this interactive workshop, Kathy MacMillan—American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, librarian, and storyteller—will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into stories, rhymes, and songs. You will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help you, your staff, and parents communicate better with children. Register at

Posted in American Sign Language, eCourses and Webinars, Professional Development, Resources for Teachers and Librarians, Upcoming events | Leave a comment

Happy International Women’s Day!

She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World is getting a lot of love today!



Jedlie's Reading with Your KidsMy co-author Manuela Bernardi and I participated an in international interview for International Women’s Day over at the Reading with Your Kids podcast! We got to discuss our inspirations (including each other) and the amazing women in the book. Listen to it here.


We were also interviewed by CLCD’s Read and Shine blog. Read it here.


If you haven’t gotten to see She Spoke yet, check out this video to see my reaction the first time I got to hold this beautiful thing in my hands:


Don’t forget to order your copy by March 31, 2019 to receive a prize pack!


Posted in Contests and Giveaways, Interviews, She Spoke | 1 Comment

Upcoming Appearances

I hope to see you at one of these upcoming events in March!

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 3:00 – 5:00pm: Book signing at Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt, 852 N Rolling Rd, Catonsville, MD 21228

Come on in to purchase signed copies of She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World, Nita’s First Signs, Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, Sword and Verse, and Dagger and Coin! Make a sign language craft and learn to write your name in the language of the gods. Purchase a book and receive 20% off your Sweet Frog yogurt purchase! All book sale proceeds support Deaf Camps, Inc.’s scholarship fund.


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Read This!: THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING by Natalie Blitt

The Truth About Leaving by Natalie Blitt

Summary: Lucy Green thought she had her senior year in the bag. Cute boyfriend? Check. College plan? Check. But when her boyfriend dumps her the week before school starts and she literally stumbles into Dov, the new Israeli transfer student, on her first day of school, Lucy’s carefully mapped-out future crumbles. Determined to have a good senior year, and too busy trying to hold her family together while her mom is across the country working, Lucy ignores the attraction she feels to Dov. But soon, Lucy and Dov’s connection is undeniable. Lucy begins to realize that sometimes, you have to open yourself up to chance. Even if the wrong person at the wrong time is a boy whose bravery you admire and who helps you find your way back to yourself.

Here’s the truth about The Truth About Leaving – this book broke me in the best way possible. Lucy is such a caring, open-hearted character, a girl who, as many girls are taught to do, takes care of everyone else’s needs before her own. So it’s perhaps inevitable when she falls for handsome, damaged Dov. Blitt gives us a portrait of two young people with a strong sense of responsibility and honor – and their romance both honors that in both of them and helps each find their own path, even when that means finding the courage to stand up for their own needs. I was honestly not sure how Blitt would be able to pull a satisfying ending out of their predicament, but oh yes, she did, and I’ll be thinking about Lucy and Dov and this gem of a book for a long time.

The Truth About Leaving is out now.

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SHE SPOKE releases today!

Today’s the day! She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World releases today! Co-authored with my dear friend Manuela Bernardi and illustrated by Kathrin Honesta, this book is one I am so excited to share with readers of all ages!

This unique nonfiction picture book highlights 14 women who raised their voices and changed the world! Learn about heroes such as Dolores Huerta, Dr. Maya Angelou, Suzan Shown Harjo, Dr. Temple Grandin, and Malala Yousafzai – and hear their inspiring words in their own voices at the touch of a button.

“A chorus of voices for justice and change, diverse alike of identity and cause.” Kirkus Reviews


Purchase by March 31, 2019 and get a free prize pack! Click here to claim yours!

Purchase links:

Order signed copies and support Deaf Camps, Inc.’s scholarship program!

Order from

Order from

Order from and support your local independent bookseller!

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Read Across America this Saturday at Books with a Past!

Join me this Saturday, March 2 at 2 PM for an extra special celebration at  Books with a Past in Historic Savage Mill! We’ll be celebrating Read Across America and Women’s History Month – and the launch of She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World! I’ll be joined by my co-author, Manuela Bernardi, who will be Skyping in from Brazil for the occasion, and Karen Leggett Abouraya, author of Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words. We’ll have giveaways, crafts, games, and cupcakes! For all ages. Hope to see you there!

Posted in She Spoke, Upcoming events | 2 Comments

SHE SPOKE got its first trade review!

She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World got its first trade review!  Kirkus Reviews says: “The words are all inspirational, and so are the stories. Better still, as examples for budding activists, along with the predictable recitations of jobs, honors, and successes, the overviews often acknowledge failures, cannily characterizing them as first steps or as means to some greater end. A chorus of voices for justice and change, diverse alike of identity and cause.” Read the whole review here.

See the book trailer and pre-order here.

Posted in Reviews, She Spoke | 1 Comment

Purchase SHE SPOKE by March 31, 2019 and receive a prize pack!

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we’re offering this nifty prize pack when you pre-order or purchase a copy of She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World by March 31, 2019! 

Your inspirational prize pack includes:

  • A button featuring one of the incredible women profiled in the book. (Thank you to Veronica Bartles Design for producing these!)
  • A set of 8 fierce feminist stickers.
  • A nifty bookmark.


The details:

-Prize packs will be sent via postal mail. US addresses only.

-Proof of purchase must be received by April 2, 2019. Purchases must be made on or before March 31, 2019 to qualify.

Available while supplies last.

To request your prize pack, email with the following information:

1) Your name

2) Address where you would like your prize pack sent. (US addresses only.)

3) Proof of purchase (as an attachment or you can forward an email receipt).

4) If you would like to request a particular woman for your button, please let us know which one from the list below. Requests will be honored as long as supplies are available. Your choices are:

  • Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Dolores Huerta
  • Dr. Maya Angelou
  • Dr. Jane Goodall
  • Shirley Chisholm
  • Suzan Shown Harjo
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Leymah Gbowee
  • Dr. Temple Grandin
  • Sonia Sotomayor
  • Tammy Duckworth
  • Dr. Joanne Liu
  • Abby Wambach
  • Malala Yousafzai

Convenient purchase links:

Order an autographed copy from the Deaf Camps, Inc. Online Store and support a great cause! (You will automatically receive prize pack with your order placed by March 31, 2019.)

Order now at

Order now at

Order now at

Order now from Familius Press.


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