Kinzie Elementary School teacher raises money to buy tablets for her deaf, hard of hearing students

CHICAGO (WLS) -- COVID-19 may have closed classrooms, but it's only strengthened the commitment teachers have to their students.

"There's something I have to do to make sure these children can adapt and participate in online learning," said Brenna Robinson, a sign language interpreter.

Robinson is a sign language interpreter at Kinzie Elementary School in Chicago. It has a cluster of 60 deaf and hard of hearing students who were already facing learning challenges.

"We're teaching them language. They're having to learn English on top of that, they're having to learn American Sign Language," Robinson said.

Robinson wanted to make sure she could reach all of her students.

"It's important to have a device that has a camera on it so they can see me signing, they can see the teachers signing," Robinson said.

Robinson started raising money, reaching out to her network of family and friends.

Within days, she had $20,000. She bought 60 tablets and gave them to her students last week.

For them, teacher appreciation week takes on an even greater meaning.

"Their reactions were heartwarming. So many tears, so much gratitude," she said.

Ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Robinson said she hopes these devices can help the e-learning process into both students and parents.
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