Braille Monitor                          February 2019

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Braille Letters from Santa are a Little Christmas Magic

From the Editor: The National Federation of the Blind has a special program taken on at the request of Santa Claus because he and the elves get so busy in November and December, and the NFB has the skills to help out. We assist Santa by Brailling letters to blind children in reply to letters that they have sent to him. This year we asked parents and teachers one question about this program: If you have participated in Santa Letters before, can you share with us what affect this program has had on you or your child/student? We’re reprinting a number of the responses we received to this question to share the holiday joy and magic that one Brailled letter can bring to a child’s life. Some of these have been edited for clarity. Here are some of the answers we received to that question:

“Zora loves receiving her letters from Santa, and we have been taking them with us when she visits Santa in person. It's exciting because many sighted people have not had direct contact with Braille.

“Louise absolutely loved getting the letter and trying out her developing Braille reading skills to read as much as she could of the letter. Nothing promotes reading like a letter from Santa! Last year's letter inspired Louise to Braille her own letter to Santa to leave with milk and cookies, since as she put it, "Santa must be able to read Braille if he can write it!" Thank you!”

“It has introduced my daughter to Braille. She may not be able to read independently but can feel it as I read it to her.”

“She looks forward to this every year. She will share the excitement with all her classmates and tell them how great Santa is. We have fun going through everything in the package together.”

“Salome has received a Braille letter from Santa for each of the past few years through your program and is always so excited to get the letter! She has loved the songs and other fun activities as well! She is now a very proficient Braille reader, but I remember when she was in kindergarten and she got her letter and how hard she worked to try to read it even though it was a challenge. Thank you so much!”

“This is our second year of participating, and it is even more exciting because Rosie is very familiar with her Braille books and will understand that she has a special letter. Last year this was a blessing for us as newly adoptive parents. We got to share with Rosie a tradition that our children and grandchildren have always enjoyed, and it encouraged us so much. Thank you for your kindness and hard work; you are greatly appreciated!”

“Clara loves getting a letter from Santa. She is at the age where it is getting harder for her to believe, and this is keeping the magic alive just a little longer!”

“He received the letter last year as well. He was super happy to receive the letter. And firmly believes in Santa.”

Students love receiving mail, especially from Santa.

“Last year was our first year of requesting a letter, and it was Harper's first year of some kind of recognition of Santa and Christmas. It was a great way to help with the season just for her. Now this year she really knows what is going on and is looking forward to her letter from Santa—I have told her we sent a request, but only the really good kids on the nice list get a letter direct from the Big Man himself!”

“My daughter Karlee has participated in the Santa Letter Program for one year, and she loved it. It helped her to build more excitement around the magic of Christmas. I appreciate the program, too, because it helps me to reinforce the importance of reading Braille in a positive way. Thanks.”

“Santa’s letter motivated my daughter to read for recipes when she was a new reader.”

Both children and parents seem to enjoy the letters from Santa.

“My son is so excited every Christmas to get his letter. He shows all of his friends.”

It gives them great pleasure to receive a letter from Santa that they can read themselves.

“Last year was the first time I had signed up for my daughter to receive the letter. Oh she giggled and was excited!”

“He loves getting a Santa letter! His brother gets one from another program; this helps keep them both included.”

“Kiara was so surprised and thrilled to receive a letter from Santa last year! She thought it was incredible that Santa knew Braille, too! She was very proud of it and took it to school to show her class. It was great reading practice for her also. She mentioned recently that she hopes he writes her again this year. Thank you for this wonderful gift!”

“It was wonderful and encouraging for both of my blind children. The reaction my daughter had to the idea that Santa knows Braille was amazing.”
           
“I am excited to report that Isabelle will be able to read some of the letters this year! She went from thirty minutes per week to up to thirty minutes a day in TVI. A start, she knows all letters and can read some words.”

“My son looks forward to his letter from Santa every year! This is so amazing that you guys take the time to do this!”

Every year the kids look forward to getting their letters from Santa. It makes them feel like all the other kids out there.

“We did this last year, and I put it in his baby book to read in the future. He was only one last year!”

“She enjoys that Santa knows Braille, and it makes her feel so special.”

This is such a great opportunity to make the world a little more accommodating.

“Marcise has enjoyed receiving Braille letters from Santa so that she can read it by herself!”

“My son loved it. He felt special receiving a letter and enjoyed the activity sheet.”

“It is extra special for our daughter to receive a lovely letter from Santa in Braille that she can read over herself, and it has been a wonderful encouragement to her utilizing Braille.”

“Paul really enjoys his letter from Santa each year!”

“My dad requested a letter for me when I was in high school, and it encouraged me to practice reading Braille when I was quite reluctant to do my Braille homework.”

“My daughter loves these and looks forward every year still. Thank you for doing this.”

“Zoe has received a letter before, and her mom tells me that she loves to read it!”

It's so much fun to see the anticipation they have when their letter arrives.

“Cheston loves getting his letter from Santa. His other siblings also get letters, and now he can read his own. Thanks for doing this program.”

“Myla loves and looks forward to her letter from Santa every year!”

“Luke loves to get letters he can read and loves the thought of hearing from Santa.”

“The student was surprised and excited to receive the letter from Santa. He's learning Braille, so it gave him additional practice with reading.”
           
“My daughter loves getting mail, and the fact that it is from Santa makes it even more special.”

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