Society for the Blind recently received $10,000 from Golden 1 Credit Union to provide Braille literacy for children in Sacramento and across Northern California who are blind or have vision loss.
“Today, less than 10 percent of children with vision loss are literate,” said Shari Roeseler, executive director, Society for the Blind. “They are not learning Braille and are unable to read, write and comprehend. By third grade they are significantly behind their sighted peers, and 50 percent of high school students who are blind drop out before graduating. Literacy is key to improving academic outcomes and pointing these children toward college and careers. We are grateful to Golden 1 Credit Union for helping us fill this gap so children with vision loss can be successful and independent when they grow up.”
The grant will allow Society for the Blind to provide Braille literacy classes, instruction materials and training in assistive devices for up to 100 new children who are blind or have low vision in elementary through high schools across the region. Through Society for the Blind’s After-School Academy for children from first grade through high school, students will learn Grade 1 Braille, including the alphabet, spelling, numbers, reading and writing. Middle and high school students who pass Grade 1 Braille will learn Grade 2 Braille, which includes shortened or contracted words as well as the Nemeth Code-Braille for math and science. Students also will receive subject-based tutoring based on an initial assessment upon entering the program.
“As we continue to learn more about the short- and long-term educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our vulnerable populations, we know it is especially important to provide support to organizations that enrich the minds of future generations,” said Erica Taylor, vice president of communications and community relations. “Golden 1 is inspired by the mission of Society for the Blind, and we are honored to help them continue to serve their community.”
For 67 years, Society for the Blind has created innovative ways to empower individuals living with low vision or blindness to discover, develop and achieve their full potential. Society for the Blind has grown from a dedicated group of volunteers to a nationally recognized agency and the only comprehensive rehabilitative teaching center that provides services for a 27-county region of Northern California. The nonprofit provides low-vision eye care, life and job skills training, mentorship, and access to tools to maintain independence for nearly 6,000 youth, working-age adults and seniors experiencing vision loss each year. For more information or to donate, visit SocietyfortheBlind.org.
The Golden 1 Credit Union Community Grant Program funds nonprofits serving communities in the Sacramento and Central valleys that are working to address children’s literacy and transition-age foster youth. In 2021, the program awarded grants to 33 nonprofits in California. For more information, visit Golden1.com.