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BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy & Learning) Academy

NFB BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy & Learning) Academy logo

The National Federation of the Blind of Delaware (NFBDE) is sponsoring its fourth BELL (Braille Enrichment for Literacy & Learning) Academy.

Where: The Division for the Visually Impaired
Biggs Building Door 3
1901 North DuPont Highway
New Castle, Delaware 19720
Phone: 302-255-9800
When: August 5 through 16, 2019
Time: 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (Monday through Friday)
Cost: Free for blind and visually impaired children ages 4 to 12 who are residents of Delaware
Lunch: Students make their lunches as part of the lesson. Food is provided.
Transportation: Must be provided; carpooling is encouraged.

NFB BELL Academy – Placing Hands on the Future

The NFB BELL Academy helps blind and low-vision children, ages four through twelve, develop the literacy skills that will empower them to achieve their academic goals and live the lives they want. This year, with the assistance of our Wells Fargo partners, we provide opportunities for students to imagine, create, and touch their future and dreams; by not only raising expectations through Braille instruction, but by nurturing their development of tactile arts and graphics. Through the generous support of the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, each student participant in the 2019 NFB BELL Academies will be provided with an inTACT Sketchpad. To learn more about the NFB BELL Academy, visit https://nfb.org/bell-academy.

Application Steps

Please note that the application process for NFB BELL Academy contains several steps:

  1. Fill out the NFB BELL Application Form at https://archive.nfb.org/bell-student-application-form.
  2. After you submit the application, you will receive a confirmation email. That confirmation email will direct you to fill out the Permission and Release Forms at https://archive.nfb.org/bell-permission-and-release-forms.
  3. After you complete the permission and release forms, you will receive another confirmation email. This second confirmation email will contain your answers to the permission and release forms.
  4. Print out this second confirmation email, and sign and date it at the bottom of the last page.
  5. Send the signed confirmation email to the BELL Academy state coordinator listed on the email.

BELL Academy Pictures

To view the BELL Academy pictures from this year and previous years, please visit our BELL Academy Pictures page.

NFB Code of Conduct

The National Federation of the Blind Code of Conduct will apply to our gatherings during the BELL Academy.

BELL Academy Sponsorship Request 2019

You Can Help Sponsor This Summer’s BELL Academy
From Ice Cream to T-Shirts, Braille Paper to Pizza

Please consider the opportunity to help sponsor some part of the Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL) Academy this summer. The dates and location for the 2019 BELL Academy program are August 5 to 16 in New Castle.

The BELL Academy is a two-week program for vision impaired and blind children ages 4 through 12, many of whom have had minimal exposure to braille. The program presents opportunities to enhance braille and blindness skills. Instruction in activities of daily living furthers the children’s independence and self-sufficiency. Blind mentors and volunteers provide excellent role models, keeping expectations high and proving that blindness is not the characteristic that defines one’s future. All BELL Academy children receive a free white cane and a free slate and stylus from the National Federation of the Blind.

Please review and consider the following list of sponsorships. Thank you.

  • $200 Tee shirts for all participants
  • $200 Supplies for arts and crafts
  • $150 Christmas in July party with Santa
  • $100 Louis Braille birthday party
  • $100 Various games: Twister, Bingo, etc.
  • $50 Ice cream at the beach
  • $30 Mid-week pizza party
  • $30 Braille paper
  • $20 Dark lined paper
  • $15 20/20 pens
  • $10 Snacks per day
  • $5 Water for each day

Sponsorship for Tactile Graphic Products

Competence in understanding and using tactile/raised-line illustrations is critical for blind children both for academic and expressive needs. Thanks to the American Action Fund for Blind Children and Adults, each BELL Academy program will receive an InTact Sketch Pad electric eraser and all of the students will receive inTACT Sketchpads. The following four items promote this important but often less-recognized subject area.

  1. 4 or more Sensational Graphics Blackboards at $49.95. Here’s a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxHt_QYMg8E
  2. 3D Doodler Pens, $100 each with “ink” strands. More packs of “ink strands” cost $12.00 for a 25-pack.
  3. Additional InTact Sketch Pad electric erasers, $150 each
  4. InTact Sketch Pad paper: 100 sheets for $24.00

Note: We have received several sponsorships prior to this posting, and we thank those that have made the donation.

Once again, thanks for your interest and support to drive the BELL Academy vehicle along the road to literacy and learning for blind children. Together, with love, hope and determination, we transform dreams into reality.

Please make checks payable to NFBDE and mail to:

Kathryn Bottner, President
24 Monterry Drive
Newark, DE 19713

In the memo, please write “BELL.” Any sponsorship in any amount will be appreciated.

Additional Information

To learn more about the NFB of Delaware BELL Academy program, please read the affiliate-specific Frequently Asked Questions brochure for Delaware at https://nfb.org/programs-services/nfb-bell-academy/delaware. For more information or need assistance completing the registration forms, please contact Delaware’s BELL Coordinator Kathryn Bottner at kat.bottner@gmail.com or 302-368-2963, or Delaware’s BELL Instructor Silvia Reid at shevra@verizon.net or 302-743-8811.

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