For every 100 books a sighted child has, a blind child may have only five. That’s because braille books are rare and expensive, sometimes costing more than $100 each. A child needs books to learn how to read! Braille books at that price would be a luxury for most families, but for poor families struggling to make ends meet, they become an impossibility.
A $5,000 Literacy Grant from Better World Books will allow Seedlings Braille Books for Children to produce and distribute approximately 500 braille books to blind and visually impaired students in the Detroit Public Schools and the Genesee Intermediate School District, which serves Flint, MI, and the surrounding rural area.
Flint, where cost-saving measures led to tainted drinking water containing lead, is the largest city in Genesee County. More than 40 percent of its residents live below the poverty line. Detroit, located about 70 miles southeast of Flint, has similar demographics with 39.4 percent of its residents living in poverty.
Braille literacy often means the difference between poverty and prosperity for those who are blind. Seventy percent of working-age adults who are blind are unemployed. But of those who are working, 85 percent are braille readers.
Our hope is that the students who benefit from this grant will go on to be strong braille readers who succeed in school and in life.
“We are extremely thankful to Better World Books for this generous grant, which will allow us to provide approximately 500 braille books to blind students in Detroit and Flint, Michigan. Braille books are rare and expensive so teachers of the visually impaired often have to transcribe print books into braille by hand just so their students have something to read! Yet, learning to read is just as important for blind children as it is for sighted children. This grant will help give blind students in Detroit and Flint a more equitable opportunity for success in school and in life.”
Karen Smith, Community Outreach Manager