MSH Mission Statement:
“Our mission is to bring a better understanding to parents, educators and children of the value of visual communication early in life. Promoting ASL as part of a dual language to the hearing community can act as a bridge to more meaningful communication in our homes, our schools and our communities.”
About My Smart Hands
Laura Berg, Founder of MSH:
When I was pregnant with my first child I wanted to find a way to stay at home with her but still have an income. Necessity being the mother of invention, I used the skills I had as a teacher and my knowledge of ASL and began teaching sign language to parents of hearing babies. My classes became so successful that I founded My Smart Hands, which has now grown into an international company
It started when I was working as an eighth grade teacher, running the literacy program at my school. The old program we were using wasn’t working so my principal asked me to try to find different ways to help our students improve their literacy skills. While doing research I came across a study that used the American Sign Language (ASL) alphabet to help students develop their spelling skills. I was fascinated with this concept, it made complete sense. ASL encompasses a number of learning styles but specifically kinaesthetic and visual. I took this theory to my school, designed a great curriculum and began to have success with it. This led to me lecturing for teacher education programs at universities on the concept of using sign language to help promote literacy in our schools. These lectures, I’m please to say, were very well received.
Further into my research I came across several articles and research studies on using sign language with babies. This concept fascinated me and it made me want to sign with my baby when I had one. The benefits of signing with children are far greater than simple communication (read more about this in our FAQ page).
This all lead me to the creation of My Smart Hands. With my background, teaching baby signing classes seemed to be the perfect fit! In 2005, while pregnant with my daughter, I began designing the My Smart Hands curriculum . After signing with my new daughter and seeing her learn ASL, I was even more confident that this was the right career path for me. I fine tuned my program, designed a manual with a CD to accompany it and opened up my company to other instructors. I wanted to give as many families as possible the opportunity to sign with their babies with help from a qualified My Smart Hands presenter.
Here we are now, several years later and My Smart Hands is an international company with over 200 instructors and growing every day! All of my instructors have unique backgrounds but we all have one thing in common, a love for signing! All of My Smart Hands instructors are required to have formal ASL training. We pride ourselves in being an educationally based company that will deliver fulfilling and exciting classes to the parents that take them!
I am so honored to have such a well respected company and to have such amazing people represent my vision of My Smart Hands!