Oscar Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin Visit Our Children in Pasadena

After attending our Second Annual Hillsides Foster Soles Kickoff Party, Oscar Award winning actress Marlee Matlin was interested in learning more about Hillsides from Steve Gleason, one of our board members. After meeting her, I invited her for a tour and fortunately for us, we have a wonderful librarian, Sherri Ginsberg, who follows up with local authors and encourages them persuasively to visit our children during their library time. Combining our efforts, I want to thank Marlee for accepting Sherri’s invitation and reading from the first chapter of her book, Deaf Child Crossing, which is about her childhood in Chicago.
After Marlee’s reading with the help of her interpreter, the children were inquisitive, asking about her deafness.  In particular, one Hillsides child, who is deaf, signed with Marlee . Marlee asked him if he thought everyone should learn how to sign and, with a smile, he said that would be a great idea. Marlee taught the children a few signs, like “love”, “play”, “sorry” and the children practiced along with her.
Interactions by individuals like Marlee make such a difference to our children. Authors read to them, explain the importance of literacy, and have a conversation about their careers and writing process. But more importantly, individuals with diverse backgrounds explain to our children that no matter what obstacles you have, you can overcome challenges and barriers that you face.  On behalf of our children at risk, we thank individuals and volunteers who take time to recognize the importance of spending an hour or two with our children. Not only do we create safe places for them, but with the help of individuals and volunteers, we create lasting memories for our children. You can too. Learn how you can volunteer or how your business, church or organization can make a lasting impact too, visit www.Hillsides.org.

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