(Editor's Note: There are several organizations that make Braille books for children available for purchase or loan. However, the books offered by SEEDLINGS are some different than those offered by others and therefore, I believe, helps fill some unmet needs. The following information is taken from portions of a SEEDLINGS informational flyer and a letter from the Director, Debra J. Bonde.)
Announcing a new non-profit organization dedicated to producing affordable, high-quality Braille books for children!! The "seeds" for SEEDLINGS were: A LOVE OF THE WRITTEN WORD: Reading is so very important. It is through good literature that we can learn who we are, what we feel, and how to express our feelings. Listening to a tape could never replace holding our very own book in our hands, reading and re-reading it ourselves.
A LOVE OF BRAILLE: Braille is also very important. For many blind people, it is the only possible pathway to true literacy, as it is both an excellent reading system, and also an inexpensive, rapid and efficient writing system. By offering stimulating Braille books such as ours, the use of Braille can be promoted.
A LOVE OF CHILDREN: Most sighted children own scores of books, some of which they have read seemingly hundreds of times. AU_ children should have the chance to develop this love for books. Through good children's literature, a child can find heroes and heroines who will become his or her role models and motivators--which has been shown to have a direct effect on a child's self-image and achievements.
A CONCERN FOR PEACE, JUSTICE, MINORITY AND HANDICAP ISSUES: SEEDLINGS offers such books as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Harriet Tubman--The Road to Freedom, and Chief Joseph--Leader of Destiny. It is an excellent resource for thought-provoking books about current issues.
THE SKILLS OF BRAILLE TRANSCRIPTION AND OF COMPUTER OPERATION: The director was certified as a Braille transcriber by the Library of Congress in 1979. During the summer of 1983, she began transcribing Braille using her Apple He computer, and was anxious to put this new technology into service for the visually impaired. Each of SEEDLINGS' books is printed out on heavy Braille paper (no thermoform!) using a Kentucky Modified Perkins Braillewriter, and is spiral bound.
SEEDLINGS is a young and growing nonprofit organization. As we grow, we will add more and more books to our catalog, giving you an ever improving resource. You can help us to grow by sending in your orders, donations, suggestions, and the names of your friends, associates, or clients who might like to receive our catalogue. Please write us at: Seedlings, Braille Books for Children, 8447 Marygrove, Detroit, MI. 48221, or call (313) 863-7828.
Dear Mrs. Cheadle,
We have really tried to respond to people's needs and suggestions during our short history. The synopsis that is included on each book was the result of a librarian's comment about not being able to tell a student if she had anything availabe that would interest them, since she couldn't always tell just from the title what a book was about.
The books with interlining were the result of comments by several parents and teachers about the print/Braille books that are avaliable from other sources. Parents who don't know Braille had a hard time figuring out where to place their child's hands so he or she could follow along.
Now we have had some requests for our preschool books to be put into grade two Braille. We've been in contact with some teachers to find out what format would be most helpful to the children. We'll be working on these books soon... Debra J. Bonde
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