Programs and Committee
The Big CODA Little KODA
The Big CODA Little KODA mentorship program is to help KODAs (kids [under 18] of deaf adult/s) who are struggling with their identities by pairing them up with strong role models who also have deaf parents. These under-resourced KODAs may be struggling with accepting the fact that their parents are deaf, or that their childhood is different. Others may not have funds to attend KODAWest’s annual camps. Some may not even know what it means to be a KODA, or have never interacted with another KODA. These KODAs will be paired with CODA ([adult] children of deaf adults) mentors in order to foster positive, healthy identities and acceptance as KODAs.
Our biggest event of the year is the camp for these underserved KODAs. At this one-week camp, our campers will participate in leadership and team building skills as well as many other fun activities. Most importantly, they will attend KODA workshops run by the Camp Director, who is a Child (over the age of 18) of Deaf Adults (CODA). These workshops are an opportunity for the children to come together in a supportive and unified setting.
KODAWest Camp is a place where Kids of Deaf Adult/s (ages 8-17) will enjoy a range of amazing experiences; explore their identities as bicultural individuals through increased awareness of ASL, Deaf culture and by sharing their own stories. They are raised in a world that is completely different from hearing families, where sound is not an instrumental part of their everyday lives. KODAWest aims to provide the hearing experience by exposing these children to music, and by providing a community where these children can connect with one another through similar backgrounds. This promotes a sense of comradeship and in understanding their unique identity that is being a KODA.
KODAWest Camp offers something for everyone - group games, arts & crafts, sports, KODA awareness activities and more. Activities are designed to promote bi-cultural pride and self-esteem for these children. Young adults, ages 16-18, come as Counselors-in-Training (CIT), which will help them to develop team-building and job/life skills. They will also become mentors for the young campers, while being mentored by their older peers.
Another important service we provide within this unique community is the low-cost workshops for the deaf parents. Many of these parents have minimal ideas of what is important in a hearing child’s life, such as music, and/or identifying sounds or noises. Often times, parents will depend on their children for interpreting situations, which can cause resentment in their children. Therapists, who have extensive knowledge in bi-cultural living, especially in hearing/deaf cultures, will be brought in to support and educate these under-informed parents.
Throughout the year, we host several events which bring together these diverse families; such as our Litereacy at Barnes and Nobles, bowling, A Beach Day events.
Storytelling @ Barnes & Noble
- Deanne Bray, Literacy Coordinator
- Seeds for Tomorrow event
- Shamrock Poker event