Blind, Inc. Buddy Program 2013

Warm Greetings from BLIND, Incorporated

It is once again time to start planning for our 2013 Buddy program.

This three-week summer fun and learning program is for children ages 9 to 13.

The dates are July 12 through August 4, 2013.

The Buddy Program offers an opportunity for blind children to make friends and have fun in a positive and secure setting as well as to learn and practice alternative techniques of blindness while building self- confidence.

The training in alternative techniques includes instruction in reading and writing Braille, basic cane travel, cooking skills, and introductions to independent living skills. Students may learn to pour liquids, carry a food tray, do laundry, follow a recipe, and much more while building self- confidence and problem solving skills.

Picture of 3 Buddy students in Industrial Arts Class making their wood projects. Two are sanding and the other is hammering a nail.

Picture of female Buddy student pouring chocolate chips into a bowl of cookie batter that she has mixed up, while the instructor stands by her side observing.

Students also participate in “talk time,” where they discuss important issues about blindness with blind peers and instructors. This time gives the students a chance to discuss their feelings about blindness, their frustrations with uncomfortable situations, and helps them develop a positive attitude about blindness and their abilities.

In addition, students participate in many exciting activities in the Twin Cities area, such as visits to nature parks, Wild Mountain Water Park, and horseback riding. These activities allow students to develop their socialization skills.

Activities are well supervised and mentoring for the children is provided by active blind role models. Lifelong friendships begin during this brief summer experience.

During these entire out-of-the- classroom activities during the Buddy Program, one of our goals is to teach our students the alternative techniques of blindness and gain the self-confidence that would allow them to return home and actively participate in even more fun activities with their sighted friends.

Activities are excellent opportunities to teach and reinforce a wide variety of alternative techniques, as they apply to real life, and this learning experience is usually most effective when there is a lot of fun involved.

Picture of a Buddy student being instructed in using a outdoor grill.

In the process of lighting the flames with a long butane lighter.

If you have questions please call 612-872-0100 (ext. 251), toll-free 800- 597-9558, or email cguggisberg@blindinc.org. You may complete an application by visiting our website at www.blindinc.org Sincerely, Charlene Guggisberg Coordinator for Youth and Special programs

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