News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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April 17, 2014

Author weaves music, storytelling, sign language in presentation

TERRE HAUTE — Debbie Clement brings a wealth of diverse experiences to all of her performances — from concert and stage to staff development.

With more than 30 years of experience working with children, Clement has been a classroom teacher and administrator, and now serves as a consultant for her company “Rainbows Within Reach.”

The arts are her passion, and she weaves her love of music and movement together with storytelling, humor and sign language with vivid, visual props and costumes.

A free presentation by Clement is scheduled 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday in Le Fer Hall Ballroom at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

Clement received the Ella Lyman Cabot Award for excellence in music programs for young children with special needs. She has written and recorded eight CDs of original songs for children. These songs are appreciated in schools, libraries and homes across the country and are known as “Debbie’s Ditties.”

As author-illustrator, Clement translated her songs “You’re Wonderful,” “Tall Giraffe” and “Red, White and Blue” into bold, graphic picture books. She chose to underscore the text of each with playful, graphic “quiltlets” of color. Sign language charts and music notation are included to support the text.

Her first nationally award-winning project is a music DVD titled: “Kweezletown: Let’s Work Together,” an hour-long visual format of her first songs, with emphasis on colorful delight, repetition, reading, rhyme and sign, brought to life with puppets, props and animation. It has been awarded national recognition from the Dove Foundation with its “Family Approved” seal.

Clement has long been associated with Very Special Arts and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She continues her travels around the world in her first USO-style tour across Europe to military bases.

To learn more about Clement, visit www.rainbowswithinreach.com.

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