About Jennifer/ Ms. Jenn

Owner and Instructor

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    ​Hi! My name is Jennifer and I run The Signing Tree. I'm a mother of 2 children. I loved teaching my children American Sign Language early on, for some basic manners and vocabulary when learning to speak. It greatly helped diminish those tantrums for lack of verbal communication. I started working with my oldest when he was about 6 months old. Everyone has a different learning style, and I find that languages come much easier when you have a kinesthetic attachment to them. We lived in China for over 2 years, and was able to use my ASL to learn Mandarin that much easier. Also working with my son, who's dyslexic has helped learn the letters to words. My daughter has a verbal speech delay, and signing is helping her correlate her words with the signs to get her point across. I'm a licensed elementary teacher and have been working with students for almost 15 years now. I love working with children to see them learn new concepts and skills. So whether you are looking to communicate with your pre-verbal child, looking to clarify speech, start to learn a 2nd language, help a senior citizen tell you what they need, or just have fun; The Signing Tree is a great way to start learning ASL today!
    Jennifer Choy

The Coleman Story- How Signing Time Got Started

One Mother’s Journey From Adversity to Opportunity

  1. Managing Director
    In December of 1996, Rachel Coleman and her husband, Aaron, welcomed their first daughter, Leah, into the world. At the time, Rachel was writing music and performing with her folk rock band. They would take young Leah to band practices and concerts and were amazed that she was able to sleep in spite of the loud music. When she was fourteen months old, they discovered why: Leah was profoundly deaf. To say the least, their world turned upside down. Rachel’s priorities instantly changed. She put down her guitar and picked up sign language. She and her husband immediately started teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to Leah as fast as they could learn it. Something remarkable happened: by the time Leah was 18 months old, her baby sign language vocabulary far surpassed the spoken vocabulary of “hearing” children her same age. While Leah’s little friends could only point and whine for something they wanted, Leah could sign, “Juice, not milk” or, “Cheese and crackers, please”. Other parents took notice, including Rachel’s sister, Emilie, who started teaching sign language to her infant son, Alex, so that he would be able to communicate with Leah. Emilie was thrilled one morning when baby Alex, then only ten months old, found his own use for sign language. He stopped fussing, looked up at her, and signed “milk”.
    The Coleman Family
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    Somewhere in the midst of all of this, Rachel and her sister Emilie decided to team up to create a captivating, entertaining video to teach sign language to children who were not deaf. Their plan was to make a short video that gave their friends and family a fun and easy way to learn ASL as a second language, but most importantly to give them enough basic signs to communicate with Leah. In May of 2002 the first volume of Signing Time was completed, starring Rachel, 3-year-old Alex and 4-year-old Leah. The response was overwhelming. Word spread from mom to mom and family to family. Before long, the small community of people learning to sign with Leah grew into an expansive community of parents, educators, and health professionals using Signing Time to introduce the benefits of sign language to children everywhere. Testimonials poured in with touching stories about how Signing Time had been instrumental in dissolving communication barriers and giving a “voice” to children who previously had no way to express themselves. Everyone wanted more Signing Time. Rachel and Emilie’s company, Two Little Hands Productions, was born.
    Emilie and Alex
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    A few years later, Rachel and Aaron’s second daughter, Lucy, was born. After dealing with Leah’s deafness, they felt a second child would be easy. However, Lucy arrived eight weeks premature with spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Doctors worried that Lucy would never be able to speak, let alone use her rigid fingers to sign with her deaf sister.
    Leah Coleman
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    Shortly after the release of Volume 1, the Coleman family experienced a miracle of their own making. After two years of no communication, Rachel’s second daughter, Lucy, then two years old, was not communicating at all. No signs…nothing. One day while watching Signing Time, Lucy attempted a gesture that Rachel had never seen before, but looked like the sign for “more”. Rachel said, “Lucy, do you want more?” Lucy’s eyes opened wide as if to convey, “Hey mom, you got it right!” From that point forward, Lucy’s sign language vocuabulary slowly but steadily increased, despite her physical challenges and gloomy prognosis. Shortly thereafter, Lucy started talking. By the time she reached the age of five, Lucy began attending mainstream kindergarten, something Rachel never imagined possible. Lucy continues in a mainstream classroom to this day and excels in her schoolwork.
    Lucy Coleman

Signing Time Academy

The Signing Time Academy is the educational division of Two Little Hands Productions, creators of the award-winning programming that can be seen on Nick, Jr. and public television. Our mission is to bring the benefits of ASL and active learning to children of all abilities through Certified Instructors who offer classes, products, and personal support to parents and teachers in their communities.
The Signing Tree/ Jennifer Choy is an independent contractor of Signing Time/Two Little Hands.  Use of the curriculum is provided by Signing Time Academy and  Jennifer pays licensing fees for the right to use the curriculum.  Ask Jennifer to find out how you can become an instructor yourself.