When we started our mission to get a US Commemorative Postal Stamp for Laurent we are not aware of the directions it would take.
While our mission remains the same, this annual report will show you the paths we have taken to reach our goal.
Research and Consoliation
It became clear that in order to promote Laurent Clerc we needed to know him better. That led us to double down on research into his legacy and to prioritize collected as much of the known Laurent Clerc material in one place. That place is the Cogswell Heritage House on the campus of the American School for the Deaf. While Laurent never visited the site of the present school, this remains his home here in America. This last year especially, we focused on identifying and collecting Laurent's personal papers and memorabilia for future generations.
With the discovery of the Wilton Clerc Papers we have a more nuanced view of Laurent, his work and his family life. The Cogswell Heritage House yearly Archives reviews in the American School for the Deaf Publication, The America Era of 2022 and 2023 gives a sense of the exciting additions to the Laurent Clerc Collection over these last two years.
Laurent Clerc has been presented to the world in many forms. We are capturing these drawings, paintings and digital art forms in one place for the convenience of our Clerc fans. Come and join the our virtual art gallery with all things Laurent .
Social Media Growth
When the previous stamp initiative happened the Internet was a new and uncharted resource. Today we are lucky to be able to reach so many people, if not for the briefest of seconds, then they did then. Let us hope this is the tool that will make our campagin successful.
And last but not least, our old favourite, Laurent Clerc Who? Now 15 years since its creation, we are devoting more time to exploring Laurent Clerc's amazing history. With close to 1200 followers we are engaging others in the life and legacy of this amazing man and educator.
In an effort to reach younger and faster moving generations we are trying to produce Laurent Clerc media on YouTube. Here is our site and our rudimentary first attempts.
Last but not least of all is our new website to consolidate all that we are doing. Our goal is to collate and disseminate as much Laurent history and resources as we can find and generate. Explore the expanding site which is now the most comprehensive website devoted to Laurent Clerc.
Laurent Clerc Stamp Petition exists those that do not feel comfortable with giving a visual SOS, we have a petition drive to collect support. In the 1990’s over ten thousand people signed a petition but it was not enough to get Laurent’s application to the next level of consideration.
In our effort to raise Laurent's profile we determined that we needed to develop more educational opportunities and content. To this end we have begun presenting Laurent Clerc to Deaf and hearing communities. Here are some of the events and initiative that we created.
With the discovery of the Wilton Clerc Papers or the family papers of Francis Clerc Ogden. Squirrelled away for over 50+ years these papers needed an event to introduce them to the world. Thank you Wilton Library!
In addition, to highlight Francis Clerc Odgen and Laurent Clerc's connections and contributions to their communities we collaborated with the Wilton Historical Society on an exhibit, held at the society from May to October 2023.
We participated in an library initiative in June 2022, presenting Laurent as a representative of Deaf Culture and History at a session of the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Working with Alice L. Hagemeyer of the Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action and the Riderwood Deaf Community we advocated for increasing library services to the Deaf Community.
Yale University is the home of a significant collection of Laurent Clerc Papers. It is a place of growing participation in American Sign Language (ASL) as a second language. We had the opportunity to visit, participate and present in their program and are very excited for their future.
We were able to do a Laurent Clerc History Presentation at PS 347 in Manhattan. This innovative Deaf/CODA teaching program received a brief history of Laurent Clerc, to three different age classes. We were then able to meet with the teachers of this exciting program for lunch and ASL conversation.
We continue to develop and experiment with a module for Deaf and hearing students that focuses on Laurent’s history and results in student stamp art for our eventual stamp application. They help to facilitate discussions about Deaf culture and history.
We have completed several, at the American School for the Deaf and at the California School for the Deaf at Riverside. We are looking at expanding our program to schools in Southern California, Arizona New York, Massachusetts and Washington, DC among others. If you work at a school and might be interested in hearing more about this project contact Laurent at: email@example.com
Every year about this time the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, CT celebrates Founders Day to acknowledge the men and women of early Deaf Education in the United States. Held as close to April 17th each year, Founders Day involves staff and students, taking a few minutes out of their busy day to remember Laurent Clerc, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Mason Cogswell.
This year we were able to participate and present the newly discovered Wilton Clerc Papers.
The Laurent and Elizabeth Clerc Gravesite Garden has been a project of special love and commitment over these last several years. Rebounding from tragedy our garden is once again growing and evolving. We are preserving Laurent's last resting place and honouring his memory. We appreciate all the help we have received. -LCH-
Adele Raverot Clerc's Sterling Flatware and Elizabeth Victoria Clerc's Baby Spoon.
Laurent Clerc family heirlooms and memorabilia are hard to come by. There is only so much. It helps us to understand Laurent and his times. What we did not have in the past was a sense of his prodigy and their lives. Laurent came to America to work, love and start a family. New acquisitions and discoveries are helping us understand his offsprings' lives like never before.
The Stamp Project
The Laurent Clerc Stamp is the original reason that we started this whole hot mess. While drinking coffee at the Cogswell Heritage House a plan was hatched to resurrect the same efforts tried in the 1990's. We continue to experiment with ways to engage folks and for them to show their support.
Our SOS (Selfie of Support) Program hopes to show the US Postal Service Stamp Committee something special that will result in their acceptance of Laurent as a subject for a commemorative stamp this time around.
Come and join our efforts! Consider sending your SOS today!
Flat Laurent Challenge
Flat Laurent has always been about engagement with the Deaf and hearing communities. Using Flat Laurent as a poster boy of parts of Deaf Culture and History, we are engaging a new generation of people and educating them about Laurent Clerc. Here we record some of our initiatives and experiences with our dear friend, Flat Laurent
In 2022, Flat Laurent took his interests in basketball to the Clerc Classic Basketball Tournament. Check out our page that describes this exciting event.
“Where In The World Is Flat Laurent”
Probably the initiative that we are having the most fun with is our Flat Laurent Challenge. Our mobile Flat Laurents are slowly circling the United States and Europe where creative people are using him to educate about Deaf History and Culture. Facebook and Instagram pages chronicle his exploits.
Flat Laurent has taken up permanent residence in California, Connecticut, Arizona, Oklahoma, Idaho, Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia and La Balme-les-Grottes, France!
We continue to look for unique and exciting ways to utilize “Flat Laurent” to raise awareness.
If you have any ideas or wish to host a Flat Laurent, please drop us a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org