Release Date: 
Friday, March 9, 2007
John G. Paré Jr.
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2371
(410) 913-3912 (Cell)

National Organization of Parents of Blind Children Wins $5,000 National PageTurner Award

Baltimore, Maryland (March 9, 2007): The National Organization of Parents of Blind Children (NOPBC), an affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), received one of 39 national 2006 James Patterson PageTurner Awards.  The James Patterson PageTurner Awards serve to honor libraries, schools, individuals, and organizations that strive greatly to encourage the joy of reading across the United States.

The NOPBC was honored with $5,000 for their tireless efforts to promote leisure and scholastic reading for blind children.  The Braille Readers are Leaders Contest, a national contest for Braille readers from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and the Braille Reading Pals, a program catering to younger children, are two of the NOPBC’s Braille literacy programs that received praise.

Barbara Cheadle, president of the NOPBC, said: “It is such an honor to be recognized in the company of such amazing organizations and individuals.  We thank James Patterson for his aid in our mission to encourage and spread Braille literacy—and the joy of reading—across America.”

A definite correlation exists between Braille literacy and employment rates among the blind, proving that Braille literacy is a vital pathway to success.  Over 80% of employed blind or visually impaired adults report using Braille every day, but the number of blind or visually impaired students learning Braille has been decreasing.  Today, only 10% of blind or visually impaired students learn Braille, emphasizing the need for programs like the one honored by this award.

This year’s winners of the James Patterson PageTurner Awards came from 34 cities in 23 states.  James Patterson said, “I love being able to help those who spread the word that reading a book is still one of the great joys in our lives.”