LISTEN up – we’re world record breakers.
Thousands of Sunderland schoolchildren across the region have joined an unusual world record attempt.
Schools from Wearside, County Durham and South Tyneside were among those which joined in the sign2sing challenge – to break the record for the number of people signing and singing at the same time.
Among the schools which took part in the venture were Sunderland’s Thorney Close Primary School, Cleadon Village School, and Glendene School and Community Arts College in Easington.
Youngsters who attend the TalkFirst singing and signing classes at Bullion Hall, in Chester-le-Street, also joined in the fun.
The babies and toddlers who regularly attend the TalkFirst sessions were also joined by pre-school children in the area with hearing loss problems and students from The Hermitage Academy in Chester-le-Street.
Sign2sing is organised by the charity SignHealth. The aim was to get as many young people as possible simultaneously carrying out the challenge.
Jane Merrin, a teacher at Cleadon Village Primary, said: “All of our pupils were involved and they were very excited about taking part.”
The song, called Sign2sing, was composed especially for the event with lyrics by Garry Slack, author of the award-winning Sign with Olli books, and the music by Paul Fairey.
In 2011, 94,489 children took part in SignHealth’s sign2sing event and smashed the Guinness World Record.
The charity believes more than 130,000 schoolchildren took part in this year’s event on Wednesday.
Rachel Gibbins, Every Child Matters co-ordinator at The Hermitage Academy, said: “Sign language helps to improve a person’s communication skills.
“But it also teaches the students about issues such as deafness and disability, and raises awareness of the different ways in which people communicate.”
The sign2sing event is designed to raise awareness of deafness and the work of SignHealth, the national healthcare charity for deaf people.
It was also a way of raising money for the charity through sponsorship or small donations to take part.
The schools will now have to wait to find out if their efforts gain them a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.