Marilyn Hagerty: Building a better world
Edward Freer had a smile on his face and a cane in his hand when he checked in for camp Sunday. He's one of a half-dozen children with visual limitations who gathered this week at the North Dakota Vision Services/School for Blind in Grand Forks. ...
Edward Freer had a smile on his face and a cane in his hand when he checked in for camp Sunday.
He's one of a half-dozen children with visual limitations who gathered this week at the North Dakota Vision Services/School for Blind in Grand Forks.
You have to like Edward. He is cheerful. When he grows up, he would like to be a milk delivery man or maybe a teacher at the blind school.
In Langdon, N.D., where he lives, Edward can ride his bike back and forth to the swimming pool. He lives just a few blocks away.
Edward is going into sixth grade this year. His story in a recent Vision Services/School for the Blind book is titled, "Nothing I Can't Do." With several other visually impaired children from across the state, he is staying in the neat double rooms at the school. The theme this year is "Build a Better World."
Campers will visit Sherlock Park in East Grand Forks because it was built by community volunteers. They will build robots out of recyclables. And, before they leave Wednesday afternoon, they will learn at the UND NASA station about the solar eclipse coming up.
There was a time when children with visual limitations lived at the School for the Blind in Bathgate, N.D. Since 1961, the agency serving all ages has been located in Grand Forks. There are offices in Fargo, Minot, Bismarck and Jamestown.
Here in Grand Forks, short programming weeks are held throughout the year for different age groups. A small store sells low-vision aids - magnifiers, canes, talking devices, large print playing cards. And specialists work with adults across the state.
Paul Olson, superintendent, reported that more than 500 people are served by North Dakota Vision Services and School for the Blind during a biennium. That's 300 children and more than 200 adults.
Edward has Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. He says, "That means I can't see very well."
He wears glasses to protect his eyes and learned at the School for the Blind to use a white cane. He sweeps it side to side in front of himself to know if there is something in his way.
In a book written recently by Emily Stenberg, he says, "I love to read books. I can read in the dark because I read Braille with my fingers. Sometimes I wish I could read print because that's what my brothers do."
His brothers are Brock and John. His parents are Rory and Carey Freer.