It’ll be a while before Peanut is eligible for this program, but I thought I’d pass along the info for those with older kiddos. You can check out their Web site at http://www.lcb-ruston.com/pages/buddyprogram/buddyprogram.php; I’ve pasted the information I received by email below:
Since 1989, the Louisiana Center for the Blind has offered an innovative summer program for blind children in grades four through eight. This summer, the “Buddy” Program promises to be full of learning opportunities, new friendships, and fun-filled activities.
Many blind children have misconceptions about their blindness due to the lack of positive blind role models and to negative stereotypes in society. Unlike other summer programs for blind children, the “Buddy” Program is directed and staffed by competent blind adults. Classes in cane travel are taught to instill independence and self-confidence. The knowledge of Braille enables the blind child to compete on terms of equality with sighted peers in the classroom and provides a solid background in spelling and other grammatical skills. Computer literacy classes expose a blind child to available adaptive equipment. Classes in daily living skills promote equal participation in household duties such as cooking, shopping, and cleaning. In addition to learning valuable alternative techniques of blindness, children will enjoy participating in a wide variety of exciting activities such as swimming, cookouts, bowling, roller skating, and other outings.
The combination of hard work and fun activities will provide a rewarding experience that children will cherish. Involvement in the “Buddy” Program helps blind children realize that it is not blindness that poses the greatest problem. Rather, it is the negative attitudes and misconceptions about blindness that may prevent them from reaching their potential. At the close of the program, parents are REQUIRED to attend a Parents’ Weekendwhich will allow them to interact with other parents of blind children and to learn what their children have discovered about their blindness and themselves. Friendship, training, fun, growth and interaction between blind children and positive role models is how the Louisiana Center for the Blind is “changing what it means to be blind” for tomorrow’s generation.
This year, the Buddy Program will be held from Sunday, July 15 through Saturday, August 4. If you have any questions, please call Eric Guillory at 800-234-4166 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested families may also apply their students electronically at http://www.lcb-ruston.com/pages/buddyprogram/buddyprogram.php.
Due to limited space, we cannot guarantee that every applicant will be granted enrollment.
Please note that the fee for students not from Louisiana is $1,000- which is all-inclusive save for transportation to and from the program.