The Rise of a New Club: ASL Taking Kway by Storm


The annual club fair at the beginning of each year is a great way to explore extracurricular options and discover something you could be passionate about. This year, the North Gym had a  new table quickly teeming with excited students: the American Sign Language Club, with adviser  Brandyn Miller-McGrail. This week, we talked with founders Ivor Mills and Aliviyah Mateo about their sophomore year brainchild.

“Liv was the first person to present the idea,” described Ivor. “And from there we filled out the form to start the club together as well as collected signatures for support!” So far, the club has had over 100 people join the Schoology group, with around 80 attending their first meeting. The response to their club was so overwhelmingly positive, that plans are now being put in place to create cohorts for L1 and L2 to accommodate the large numbers.

At the beginning of their planning, Ivor and Aliviyah had been inspired not only by their love of learning and the language itself but also their desire to bring more inclusivity to our school.  As explained by the presidents, “There are people in and outside of Kingsway that may be nonverbal or only able to communicate using ASL, so we want to ensure that Kingsway students are able to make these people feel welcome in our community.”

The club has gained lots of attention for this exact reason, as more and more students find interest in a language that had not been available to Kingsway students before. ASL is a lifeline to many who cannot verbally communicate and embodies the core of an entire community– members of which may remain disconnected from society as we neglect the teachings of sign language. Could ASL Club be the beginning of a more expansive knowledge for Kingsway students?

Ivor explained why the club has been formed. “People want to join ASL Club to One: learn a new language — how cool is that? Two: be able to effectively communicate better with some peers, and Three: join a community of people who also want to learn the same things as them and gain a certain ‘family’ through the club!” Students whose eyes have been drawn to the idea of ASL Club,  can follow the Instagram at kwayaslclub, or even join the club online with the Schoology code 8RN4-TJPC-NM2CJ. The next meeting is being held on Oct. 29, and everyone is welcome to join. On the behalf of the presidents, the club wishes to see you then! Happy signing!

Have an idea for your own club? According to Ivor, the process can be a little stressful, but like their plans, may lead to a fruitful result. It will all begin with meticulous planning followed by presenting your idea to the administration department. After your proposal, a long-form will need to be submitted before talking to the person responsible for clubs and sports at the time. During this meeting, the club mission and details will need to be hammered out. When all is said and done, students may meet with vice-principal, James Zurzolo.


*pictured: Aliviyah Mateo (right) posing with club member Andrea Chhour (left) at homecoming, signing “I love you.”