Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
December 28, 2009
Raised dots on Christmas cards raise money
Bishop Savaryn Braille Club designs holiday cards to help Youth Emergency Shelter Society
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON - With their creativity, coupled with their generosity, students at Bishop Savaryn Elementary School underwent a fun Christmas project that will help other city youth.
Teacher Janine Campbell runs a Braille Club at the school. Now in its third year, the club has 13 members, from Grades 4 to 6.
"They learn about Braille. But it goes beyond that because I try to make the kids aware of special challenges, not just visual impairments, but all kinds of special challenges," said Campbell.
"This year I felt in my heart that it was a good idea to get these kids thinking about something outside of themselves."
She wanted her students to know that they were not too young or too small to make a positive difference in someone else's life.
The club members designed 350 Braille Christmas cards, which were sold for $1 apiece, with the proceeds going to the Youth Emergency Shelter Society (YESS).
"We went to City Hall School and saw a lot of homelessness, so we thought maybe we could help out some teens that might otherwise be out on the streets, help someone closer to their own ages," she said.
The shelter is a home where kids and teenagers who have nowhere else to go can seek caring assistance on working through difficult circumstances.
Apart from some government funding and donations from the United Way, YESS relies on private and corporate donations.
The handmade Christmas cards are printed in Braille, and also have regular print that says "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" for sighted people to read, making the cards suitable for anyone at Christmastime.
"It was a novel idea because we are a Braille Club. The front of the cards are tactile things, like foam stickies and puffy paints."
All of the students created their own design for the front of the cards, which included Christmas trees, poinsettias, snowmen and other images befitting Christmas.
Some of the kids and teens from YESS went to the school and worked together on the cards. Everybody played a role in the project, designing the cards - which involved a lot of folding, cutting and gluing - and later selling them at the school during lunch hours.
"That spoke to my kids to actually have that kind of personal contact and connection.
"I think the YESS kids really had a good time because they were a part of it as well," said Campbell.
Not a one-time venture, the Braille Club intends to make more cards in the New Year. Birthday cards, thank you cards and get-well cards, all in Braille, are next on its list.
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