I have been teaching Deaf students for 19 years. I have experience working in different schools for the Deaf and have worked at my current school in the Bronx for the past 16 years. I work in an area that is low-income and with students who come to school with limited language. As we call it in the field…a ’challenging environment’. This is the first year I am working with the Kristin Di Perri program and it has changed everything about how I teach. I currently work with 4th grade students. These students have been labeled throughout the years as limited, having learning issues and struggle at retaining information. In my first seven months of school, working with this curriculum, my students have been exposed to 220 vocabulary words and 21 groups of ‘family words’ (210 family words). Assessing these students bi-weekly (cumulatively), they consistently retain over 95% of the vocabulary words and over 80% of the ‘family words’. This is an accomplishment I have never been able to obtain (or even considered trying) in the past. Not only do we work on intensive vocabulary development and reading comprehension, but we have tackled grammar in ways I have never done before. Grammar skills are broken into simple rules that the students can understand and will eventually apply. Despite factors I had no control over (students’ abilities, language levels, lack of parental involvement, etc), I felt I was a good teacher. Since implementing this program, I realized that when I approach teaching in a different way (this way), those factors are not as relevant. All my students have shown me successes that I never dreamed of!
4th grade DHH teacher, Inner City School, NYC
I believe the work I am doing within the Literacy Program with Kristin Di Perri is my “missing piece”. In my 18 years of teaching, I wanted my students to achieve more in reading and writing. Dr. DiPerri has given me the tools I need to make that happen. I will always include “Quick Write” and assessments and push vocabulary learning and, and, and in any classroom where I am the teacher. I can never go back to the way I taught before I met Kristin DiPerri! I am a better teacher and my students are better learners because of what I have learned from her curriculum! The amount of work that it takes to work within this program is immense. Assessment days are intense and stressful. The end results and the fact that I have DHH Kindergarteners reading on grade level is priceless!
Jessica T., Kindergarten DHH Teacher
New York City
I have been teaching deaf students for almost 10 years. I remember how much my students used to struggle with and complain about literacy instruction. It was not uncommon to hear my students say they hated reading and writing in the past. After being introduced to Kristin DiPerri’s strategies and using the Bedrock Literacy Curriculum, I have noticed a huge improvement in my student’s literacy skills and motivation to learn. My students’ are engaged in learning and truly enjoy reading and writing instruction. It is amazing to see my students become excited about learning. I would recommend The Bedrock Literacy Curriculum to all Deaf and Hard of Hearing teachers.
A. Davis, Elementary DHH Teacher
I consider Kristin DiPerri’s Bedrock Literacy Curriculum my Bible for teaching!!! As a Deaf person, I have always felt differently about how to teach Deaf and Hard of Hearing children because of my experiences growing up in the public school system. I know D/HH children learn how to write and read visually and often D/HH teachers do not understand that. I was not able to find a curriculum that GETS how D/HH children learn and show HOW to teach D/HH children to learn how to read and write… until I was blessed with Di Perri’s curriculum. A HUGE sigh of relief!!!! I was finally able to justify why I teach the way I do because Kristin DiPerri understands how D/HH children learn and she writes the curriculum FOR them. She did not write the curriculum to make it easier for D/HH teachers to teach. She writes the curriculum to help make reading and writing come to life visually for the D/HH children. D/HH children are finally able to learn and truly understand the complex system of the English language. She does not emphasize or focus on the speech or speaking skill because she knows that is NOT how D/HH children learn and she is not afraid to make that clear in her curriculum. They are finally seen as “equal” when compared to their hearing peers. The curriculum pushes for a variety of skills and comprehension for the D/HH children; DiPerri does not believe in ‘letting it go’ or ‘watering-down’ teaching difficult parts of English for the children. She strongly believes they deserve the best education but in a manner where D/HH children feel they are able to learn and show their understanding. I love it when my students have their AHA! moments in the classroom and they take off with their new knowledge. I am amazed at how much my students have learned this year in the classroom and I am very eager to see the progress next year! Kristin DiPerri has a great respect for the D/HH children and she has the biggest heart and passion for the education aspect. I am truly blessed to know her and to work with her closely. She is not afraid to ask me for feedback and ideas because she knows I understand how to teach D/HH children. I truly am
eager to continue working with DiPerri and using her curriculum. She has no idea how much of a positive impact she has made on the D/HH children and Deaf teachers like me. She has finally given us a voice and avenue of showing how we are VISUAL LEARNERS and we DESERVE the same type of education but in our own way. Jennifer Francisco-D/HH Teacher
As Supervisor of the Deaf Hard of Hearing program for the Pinellas County SchoolSystem for the past 24 years
I have struggled to find a method, way, or curriculum that could bridge the gap the Deaf Hard of Hearing students demonstrate in reading and language arts. We have tried using auditory-basedverbal strategies, visual phonics,
and other methods. Though some strategies were approbate for some students they were never apporiat for all
students. It wasn't until my teachers met Dr. Kristin DiPerri and implemented her strategies, her concepts regarding ASL and first language acquisition, and her methods that I have been able to see a real change in student performance. Students who before were extremely reluctant to write are now telling their teachers that it is their favorite part of the day. Teachers who were frustrated with the challenges thatDeaf Hard of Hearing students
presented were suddenly bragging about the accomplishments of their class. We owe this all to Dr. Di Perri. She is not a miracle worker. My staff bought into her strategies and through their very hard work and commitment
made the difference. We just needed the direction that she provided. It has been a journey and we are still on it. I will tell you as an administrator that of all my accomplishments the one
I take most pride in is the satisfaction that I see on the faces of my teachers and the leaps in communication that I
see being expressed in written language by our children. It had been a journey well worth the time and energy.
Pinelas County DHH Program, Florida
BRAVO! I have been working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing students for over 30 years and this is the FIRST curriculum I have seen that clearly sets the stage for teaching foundational literacy skills using a developmental approach. Goals, objectives and extension activities are clear, concise and can be incorporated on the spot. This is an excellent resource not only for Teachers of the Deaf but also for Speech/Language Pathologists and General Education Teachers! Sharon Day, M.S, CCC-SLP/ATP
Kristin DiPerri knows what works for Deaf students. From her first workbooks to her recent Bedrock Literacy Curriculum, she has demonstrated proven strategies to demystify language and reading instruction. Her methods
are effective and efficient for busy teachers. The activities are always meaningful and memorable. And best of all,
my students love them and actually ask to do them again! Kaye Wise Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, K-5th Grade Pensacola, Florida
Kristin Di Perri
I have been teaching DHH students for 20 years and I have always been on a quest for a tool to engage those students who struggle to learn how to read and write in the traditional way. Dr. DiPerri's Bedrock Literacy Curriculum is the key to teaching language to deaf students. Dr. Di Perri effectively "breaks down" the process of acquiring language so that our deaf students actively acquire the missing components they need to be successful readers and writers. Her lessons and activities are highly engaging and effective. I have been using this curriculum for 2 years now and I have seen impressive gains in my students' reading scores. They have also made remarkable progress in writing. This curriculum is an invaluable tool for all educators of DHH students.
Elementary DHH Teacher-Chicago, Illinois
Thirty years ago I began teaching Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Massachusetts. In my very first year of teaching junior high students I felt frustrated with the lack of appropriate resources available for developing English literacy skills with my students. Moreover, I felt stymied in my own lack of a clear understanding of how to support my students English literacy skills. Though bright and able, my students were not being challenged appropriately. This disconnect between their obvious intelligence but often lower English skills made me challenge my own training and thinking. The problem was not with them…it was with my approach.
This initial frustration, though overwhelming at the time, pushed me in two basic ways: 1) to teach DHH students at a variety of grade levels so I could see their development first hand and 2) to continue my own education and focus on how DHH students learn best - especially when access to English is limited.
Through the years I have taught multiple grade levels, taught in the Boston University Deaf Studies/Deaf Education program, completed a doctorate that was focused on D/HH students literacy development, presented workshops across the country and abroad, and most recently formed this company.
Ultimately the goal is simple- provide DHH teachers with English literacy materials that challenge D/HH students appropriately by giving them a fair shot at understanding how English works.