Braille Monitor                                                 March 2011

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This spring-themed bulletin board features 26 large, colorful butterflies.

This spring-themed bulletin board features 26 large, colorful butterflies. A hefty tree trunk made out of corrugated cardboard anchors the left side of the board. Two green egg-crate caterpillars climb the tree trunk side by side. The caterpillar on the left has the numbers 1, 2, and 3 going down his back, and the one on the right has the numbers 4, 5, and 6. The caterpillar segments represent the layout of the Braille cell. Two-thirds of the way up the trunk, a hollow provides a resting place for a small print/Braille board book. A few inches further up the trunk a tree branch juts to the right with a small stuffed cardinal resting on it. At the very top of the bulletin board, just above the bird’s head, are leaves made of felt.

The display title in tactile print letters—Catch the Literacy Bug!—extends across the middle of the board in a wave pattern. Four circular pictures of blind children reading Braille fit snugly between the waves. The Braille title of the board appears twice: once superimposed on the word “literacy” in the center of the display and again in the bottom left corner. Twenty-six butterflies flit above and below the title. Each features one letter of the alphabet. The spots on the butterflies’ wings form jumbo Braille letters; with dots 1, 2, and 3 on the left wings and dots 4, 5, and 6 on the right. For example, the “R” butterfly has dots 1, 2, and 3 on her left wing and dot 5 on her right wing. The butterfly wings are made of craft foam, and the dots are made of textured paper. The Popsicle-stick body of each butterfly bears its print letter once and the standard-size Braille letter several times, embossed in a column. Each butterfly is secured to the board with Velcro. Interspersed across the board are smaller, three-dimensional butterflies made of soft fabric. A real butterfly net continues the line created by the title and extends past the right side of the board. A few of the smaller fabric butterflies are caught in the net. Visitors are invited to catch the literacy bug and move the alphabet butterflies to the Velcro strip at the bottom of the board to spell a word in Braille.


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