Entire Massachusetts neighborhood learns sign language after family welcomes deaf baby

NEWTON, Mass. -- A Massachusetts neighborhood is coming together to make sure one of its youngest residents has a voice. This silent approach is speaking volumes.

Two years ago, Glenda and Raphi Savitz moved to the Newton neighborhood and soon welcomed their daughter Samantha, who was born deaf.

"She was the first deaf person my husband and I had ever known," Glenda said.

On walks, neighbors noticed the family was signing to their daughter, WCVB reports.

The neighbors decided they wanted to learn how to communicate with her themselves, so they signed up for weekly night courses to learn American Sign Language.

"We thought we might get 10 to 12 people," said Lucia Marshall, a Newton resident.

More than 20 eager students come together each week to learn how to better communicate with Sam.

"It is so touching. There is no greater gift than her wanting to learn her language," Glenda said.

"Sam is giving us a reason to come together, so I think she is doing something for us, rather than the other way around," Marshall said.

They're learning that love is as unspoken as it is universal.

"It's so important for deaf babies and kids to have full access to language," the ASL teacher said. "What this community is doing to support Sam shows the power people have to really change one person or one family's life."

The family hopes their story will inspire other neighborhoods to unite and look after each other.