Jefferson Student and Teacher Work Together to Open Doors to Possibility

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Jefferson Student and Teacher Work Together to Open Doors to Possibility

Jefferson Middle School eighth grader Sophia Babb had the honor of opening the Washington State Senate session on March 1 by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in American Sign Language (ASL).  Not only did Babb recite the Pledge of Allegiance, she also served as a legislative page during the week of February 26 to March 2.  Olympia School District ASL Interpreter Kristina Estep was right beside her each day, facilitating her experience. 

Estep began working with Babb at the beginning of the 2017-18 school year and since then she has “helped Sophia grow beyond all expectation,” said Jefferson Principal Michael Cimino.

Sophia and Interpreter

Estep said when she arrived as Babb’s interpreter on the first day of school, she noticed she didn’t sign the Pledge of Allegiance but stood proudly with her hand on her heart. She asked her about it, and Babb told her she didn’t know the pledge. Estep asked if she wanted to learn it and she said, ‘yes.’

“So within the first ten minutes of meeting her, we learned the Pledge of Allegiance,” said Estep. 

Since working with Estep, “I have been able to learn a lot, build my confidence up and understand a lot more,” said Babb.

Babb was inspired by her experience as a page and said she was thrilled to meet not only Gov. Jay Inslee, but also Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who is blind. 

(OSD Communications)