Special Elf on the Shelf

December 23, 2018

When a little girl who wears cochlear implants was out of school, magic happened.

Ann Redmore is a first grader at St. James School in Johnson City, New York. Earlier this week she had to miss school for an appointment related to her implants.

And on that very day, Holly the elf arrived in her classroom. And just like Ann, Holly wears two pink cochlear implant processors -- tiny add-ons for the doll made to look just like Ann’s.

“While she was out her sign language interpreter and classroom teacher decided that there should be a deaf elf to go along with all the hearing elves in the classrooms,” her mom Jennifer Redmore told Good Morning America.

The goal of the elf was to, “make our school more inclusive for Ann and our students, Ann’s teacher, Olivia Dennison, and interpreter, Lynette Shear, told GMA in an email. “The elves are all so similar and do not reflect the diversity of all students. Being an advocate for inclusive education, it is important to show all children that we are all created equally and wonderfully in the eyes of God.”

When Ann first saw the elf, they said, she was proud and in awe.

“She touched her processors in amazement that the elf and her looked the same. She was proud to tell everyone about the elf, including the other elf in our classroom,” the teacher and interpreter told GMA. “And not just Ann, but her classmates and other students in the school. Holly [the elf] has been the center of conversation ever since we all first met her, and everyone wants to visit her and practice signing to her.”

“This surprise with Holly the Elf made Ann feel so proud. We love St James School and her whole team,” Redmore said.

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