Future Reflections Spring 1992, Vol. 11 No. 2

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CHILDREN AND THE NFB CONVENTION IN CHARLOTTE

     Charlotte is a great place for an NFB Convention, and a great place for kids, too! First of all, children will be delighted—and parents relieved--to discover many nearby, inexpensive restaurants and fast-food places. Visitors to Charlotte will also appreciate the friendly people and the mild weather (temperatures from June-August range from 87 to 67 degrees). Each of the four convention hotels have swimming pools, so be sure to bring swim suits!

     Next, there is wonderful family entertainment and recreation. Of course, the major focus is the convention and learning about blindness, but there will still be free time before and after the convention and on convention tour afternoon, Thursday, July 2. The Convention Center is conveniently located within walking distance of a large city park; some of the city's most interesting historical sites and museums; a brand-new, state-of the art Aquatic Center (which is accessible to the orthopedically handicapped); and the city's most popular hands-on Science and Technology museum--Discovery Place.

     For those who wish to go further afield, there is the Afro-American Cultural Center (this is a long walk or short ride from the Convention Center); the Nature Center (inexpensive and a moderate drive from the Convention Center); the Mint Museum of Art (a 5 minute drive from uptown Charlotte); Celebration Station (a family fun center with bumper cars, miniature golf, game rooms, and so forth--located on the Outer Loop of Charlotte); the Reed Gold Mine (located in the nearby city of Stanfield); the Charlotte Motor Speedway (located between Charlotte and Concord off highway 29); and Carowinds (a family theme park with water rides, roller coasters, and so forth--located off I-77 south of Charlotte); and many more attractions.

     But wait! Before you start making your plans, first check out the "Tours With Allure" on page -- of this issue. The North Carolina affiliate of the NFB has put together some great tour packages for Sunday, June 28; Monday, June 29; Tuesday, June 30; and Thursday afternoon, July 2. The pre-arranged tours are not only convenient and inexpensive, they give you the chance to meet lots of other parents, blind kids, and blind adults in a relaxed, informal setting.

     Special arrangements have also been made by the Parents of Blind Children Division for a Children's Fun Day field trip and other activities on Sunday, June 28. (This is the date of the big, day-long seminar for parents of blind children.) While parents are attending the parents seminar children ages 5-12 can be learning and having fun, too.

     Under the capable leadership of Lori Anderson, a former kindergarten teacher, and with the help of dedicated Federation volunteers, the children will begin the day with get-acquainted activities, games, and discussions/demonstrations of blindness-related skills and techniques. The children will then go to a nearby restaurant for lunch. (To promote independence, each child will be given money and assisted as needed in ordering their own lunch.) After lunch, the group will walk to the Discovery Place museum for an afternoon of exciting hands-on experiences at one of the top science museums in the country. The highly popular Discovery Place features: a Science Circus where children learn about light, power, motion, and sound; a domed, 6-track sound system Omnimax theater; the Space Voyager Planetarium; an Aquarium; a Collection Gallery; and a 3-story replica of a tropical jungle- -the Knight Rain Forest. The group will return in time for the children to reunite with parents following adjournment of the parent seminar at 5:00 p.m. The cost of the "Children's Fun Day" is $10 per child; this includes lunch and admission to Discovery Place. In order to get group rates we must make reservations in advance for Discovery Place, so please pre-register (see form below) your child(ren) for Children's Fun Day. Send the pre-registration information plus the $10 fee per child to: Children's Fun Day, Lori Anderson,111 Marquette Avenue, South, Apt. 302, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401.

     Child care, sponsored by the NFB Parental Concerns Committee, will also be available for babies and children up to age 12 during the Convention, including all day Sunday, June 28. Preregistration is not required for child care, however advance notice from parents planning to use child care would be much appreciated. To help defray the costs of child care, the Parental Concerns Committee is asking that parents make a donation of: $50 for the week (this includes banquet night) for the first child and $25 for each additional child; or $10 per child per day, and $10 per child for banquet night if the full week is not needed. (Parents who cannot, financially, make the suggested donation are requested to contact Carol Coulter to discuss alternative donations or arrangements).
Please contact: Carol Coulter, 2504 Glenn Drive, Columbia, Missouri 65202; 314-474-3226.

     If you have not yet made your room reservations for the National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, please do it now! Remember that single rooms are only $30 per night; doubles and twins, $35; triples, $38; and quads $40. These prices are in addition to tax. Write to: Convention '92, National Federation of the Blind, 1800 Johnson Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21230; or call Anthony Cobb at 410-659-9314. Room deposits of $40 are required and may be paid by check, money order, or credit card. For further details refer to the December, 1991, Braille Monitor and the Winter, 1992, Future Reflections. This should be the best convention ever, so make your plans now!

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