Kids’ holiday concerts are never without their entertaining moments, especially when the “choir” is made up of five-year olds. There’s always that one kid who sullenly refuses to sing. The one kid who shout-sings. And the one kid who really gets into the dancing. But in 2013, then five-year-old Claire Koch of Clearwater, Florida pretty much took the (Christmas) cake when she not only sang with gusto, but voluntarily signed her entire holiday concert for the benefit of her parents, Thomas and Lori, both of whom are deaf.
Although Claire has full hearing, sign language is second nature to her – or perhaps, in many ways “first” nature. As the child of two deaf parents, she has been learning American Sign Language from her earliest moments and communicates fluently with her parents. While neither Lori nor Tom use her as an interpreter, her holiday performance shows an incredible awareness of, and connection to, her parents.
Often looking directly into the camera (after all, kids always know when they’re being filmed, right?), she made a point of signing along with the lyrics of each song, even when her classmates had their own set of choreographed moves. And while her gesture is enough to melt even the coldest heart, it’s Claire herself, with her contagious energy and sass, that is the sweetest thing of all.
After the show, Claire’s mother posted the video on social media and practically overnight, it went viral, garnering views around the world and inspiring cheers from KODA, Kids of Deaf Adults (or CODA, Children of Deaf Adults).
Watch the following video and see Claire’s hilarious animated facial expressions, her constant attention to her parents, and her overall amazing energy. It will be the best three and a half minutes you spend all day!
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