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Published March 21, 2013, 06:15 PM

Devils Lake Seniors Head Back to School for a Friend

A group of senior citizens in Devils Lake are going back to school for the first time in decades - - this time, to learn sign language. The seniors are learning the language to help communicate with their friend, 101-year-old Margaret Braunagel.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

A group of senior citizens in Devils Lake are going back to school for the first time in decades - - this time, to learn sign language. The seniors are learning the language to help communicate with their friend, 101-year-old Margaret Braunagel.

An instructor with the North Dakota School For the Deaf teaches the class at Heartland Care Center and says her senior students are more eager to learn than many students at the school.

The seniors, most of them in their 80s or 90s, meet once a week to practice signs. They say they're doing it to better communicate with Braunagel, who's been deaf since she was a child. The group has been learning simple signs like please and thank you and eat and drink. Instructor Lilia Bakken says she's impressed with the group's dedication.

Bakken: "I feel badly that she hasn't had someone here sooner to work with the residents so she should communicate with them."

Braunagel says she's had a lifetime of experience reading lips.

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