During the week of May 15th, 2017, students from both departments attended the annual “Reading is Fun” (RIF) in their respective library. This event is funded through private donations each school year. As summarized by Joy Carriger, Blind Department Librarian/Media Specialist, RIF is a free book giveaway program designed to provide children with new free books to encourage reading for pleasure. The idea is to let children choose something they want to read to keep the fun in reading. Every year students are provided snacks while they relax and read their selections, as a fun extra part of the festivities.
This year both librarians tried something new. Carriger offered regular and raised line coloring books to the K-2 classes that contain stories or words in print and in braille to describe the pictures. Deaf Department Librarian/Media Specialist David Snow made the signs more visible in areas to help students identify where books are located at their reading level. He also created table displays according to the genre. Snow said that many students remarked on the visible and colorful set up this year! Additionally, he set up a 3rd Book Drawing for students to win a third book selection.
In this day and age, many people have taken to technology like a Kindle for their personal reading. But Snow has made observations from his special vantage point as the librarian. He says, “There are still great numbers of students who enjoy actually holding a book with a colorful cover rather than just holding an electronic device to read digital stories.” Carriger shared a similar perspective, saying, “This year I bought new technology for my middle school book club and the students did not want to use it, they wanted to read actual books.” So clearly a program that provides students with free books they can hold in their hands is still relevant.
Snow and his assistants Bea Dockter and Carrie Cobb, thoroughly enjoy themselves each year at RIF. Snow enthused, “We never get tired of seeing the thrill on student’s faces as they come into the library and see all of the books on the tables. It is truly priceless.” Carriger and her assistant Tammy Holcomb, were joined by community volunteers Jennifer Pascarella, Sylvia Putzig, Marianne Burke, and Trish & Jim Gilliam. (Volunteers were invited to a luncheon in the Culinary Arts classroom to show appreciation.) Carriger noted, “Our students love RIF. They love getting to make their own choices and getting stuff for free makes them happy. I feel that students truly appreciate having something to look forward to reading during summer break.”
The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB) is a fully accredited state public school and outreach center available tuition-free to eligible Pre-K and K-12 deaf/hard of hearing and blind/visually impaired students. Comprehensive educational services at FSDB are individualized, specific to the unique communication and accessibility needs of each student for independence and lifelong success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. To visit the school or to learn more about eligibility for enrollment, contact 1-800-344-3732. For more information, visit www.fsdb.k12.fl.us.