This blog was written by Angela Blankenship, who teaches third grade at St. Luke School.
St. Luke School, Columbus, GA. Photo c: HKI/Angela Blankenship
St. Luke School is a faith-based school in Columbus, Georgia, of about 560 students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Serve, Lead, Share in mind, body, and spirit was the school’s theme for the 2012-2013 school year.
Through this Serve, Lead, Share focus, each grade level chose an organization to support for one month. It was hard for each grade level to decide which organization they would like to support. However, it was exciting for the third grade class because St. Luke’s third graders participate in an interdisciplinary unit of study of Helen Keller.
This post was written by ChildSight® New York Program Manager Tonya Daniels.
Today is World Sight Day, a global day of awareness about the importance of eye health. It also serves as a great reminder to have your child’s eyes checked.
One NYC student on the path to clear vision at a recent ChildSight® screening. Photo: c. HKI
Did you know that up to 80% of what your child learns is through their eyes? One of the most common – and preventable – obstacles to academic success is unclear vision. The fact is if your child can’t see the writing on the board or the text in a book, it can mean the difference between doing well in school this year and failing.
It’s a familiar scene: a student suddenly starts to fall behind or lose interest in subjects they once loved. They miss homework assignments, seem distracted and act up in class. Maybe they no longer want to play sports after school with their friends. Parents and teachers are left mystified.
Pencils are sharpened, notebooks are at the ready and the excitement of a new school year, full of new beginnings and possibilities, is in the air for students all around the United States. But many are starting the school year off at a disadvantage. Some have to squint to read the blackboard or borrow notes from their friends; others lose their place while reading their text books.
Nicole and Faith are in twelfth grade at Westmount Collegiate Institute in Toronto, Canada. They are both 17 years old and enrolled in a World Issues course this year. The course taught them about political, environmental, economical, and social issues present in the world today. As a final assignment, they were tasked to make a difference and spread awareness about an important cause. They chose Helen Keller International’s Vitamin A Supplementation program. Inspired by their dedication, I wanted to hear Nicole and Faith’s story about their journey to becoming advocates for HKI. So, I reached out with a few questions.
The eighth graders at MS 80 in the Bronx line up, single file, in front of an eye chart on the stage of their crowded auditorium. Some of them read the letters on the chart aloud with clarity and certainty. Others have trouble reading even the top few lines. Some students are already wearing glasses, while others have spent months and even years squinting to read letters on signs or on the chalkboard in class.
This blog is written by Peggy O’Neill, HKI’s Vice President of Development, Individual Giving.
Seeing world renowned television journalist and HKI champion, Brian Williams back on air last night with the return of Rock Center, reminded me of this year’s Spirit of Helen Keller Gala.
Today is the birthday of Helen Keller, one of the greatest American heroes. I am always amazed by how much she accomplished during her life. She never let her blindness or deafness get in the way of her goals. Chief among those was being a voice for those who were less fortunate than she was, but her vision was not confined to those who were blind or deaf. She wanted to help all who were vulnerable, a legacy that Helen Keller International continues today in her name.
I’ve often wondered how Helen experienced New York City and I was given that opportunity at the immersive interactive show called Dialog in the Dark. All participants are given a white cane and walk in total darkness through several New York settings. Our group’s guide was himself blind. We wandered through “Central Park” and heard more clearly the songs of birds and the ripple of water. In a grocery store, our senses of smell and touch were heightened as we tried to find fruits and vegetables. It was fun and stimulating.
This post originally appeared on TOMS’ Eyewear blog. Helen Keller International is partnering with TOMS to provide prescription eyeglasses to students in need through our ChildSight® program.
Hector, 12, is an eager sixth-grader here in Los Angeles, with a knack for math. When he grows up, he hopes to be a veterinarian or play soccer, his favorite sport, professionally.
Not too long ago, Hector was having trouble seeing the blackboard, and was struggling in classes although he had the skills to succeed. Hector knew he needed glasses, but had broken his last pair and wasn’t able to replace them because of his family’s financial constraints. When he could, Hector would borrow his older sister’s glasses, and although that didn’t correct his vision, he thought a little bit of help was better than nothing.
An entrepreneur’s vision to end Vitamin A Deficiency
When Wes Stoody entered Eastern Michigan University he thought he wanted to be a professor. Five years later he is educating people, but not in the way he originally planned. Along with business partner Jay Parkin and his sister, Maggie Stoody, Wes created Aframes, a socially conscious line of unisex eyewear. The company sells fashionable sunglasses with the dual goal of raising awareness about vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and helping to fund programs that prevent it.
Aframes is partnering with Helen Keller International and will donate 5% of all revenue to help HKI’s vitamin A supplementation programs around the world.
Next week, Aframes is going one step further: the company will donate 50% of its revenue to HKI in celebration of the start of summer. We encourage you to visit their website between May 28th and June 2nd to take advantage of this generous offer!
The famous social activist talks about the importance of vitamin A
Shopping at my local supermarket this morning, imagine my surprise when I spotted Helen Keller! I debated whether I should bother her – because most celebrities like to be left alone – but decided I had to go up and introduce myself. Not only is my organization, Helen Keller International (HKI), named after her, but she is also a personal hero of mine.
I caught up with her in the vegetable aisle and asked her why she was shopping so early on a Sunday morning. She was beyond gracious, encouraging me to call her Helen instead of Ms. Keller. “I am making a sweetpotato pie for dessert tonight,” she explained, “I’ve invited some friends over for dinner to introduce them to the great work that HKI is doing, and wanted to show them how delicious vitamin A can be.”