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Student Programming

by Cindy Williams
NDVS/SB Coordinator of Student Programming

As summer draws near (we know it will get here eventually) and the school year draws to a close, I reflect on how the past semester has brought growth and educational experiences incorporating the Expanded Core Curriculum to those who attend our programs. Throughout our usual student programs occurring on-site and additional learning and social events occurring off-site, we have connected, learned, grown, and had some fun!
During our elementary program in January, the student’s activities were focused around the book Lemonade in Winter published by National Braille Press (NBP). Each student received a copy of the book to take home with them. The story is about two children who become entrepreneurs by creating a lemonade stand. While at NDVS/SB, our students built and decorated a lemonade stand out of boxes and other materials. The students then sold lemonade and baked goods they created during Daily Living Skills class to visitors from the Delta Gamma Sorority. They learned about money and created an origami wallet. The student’s creative side came out when they wrote a collaborative story about a fire breathing dragon. Students also ventured to the park one afternoon and enjoyed sledding on a nice winter day. Our upcoming May program, "Aim for the Stars," includes trips to the Kem Shrine Circus and to UND’s ND Space Grant Consortium where students will tour the spacesuit lab, space shuttle simulator, and the atmospherium. 

Our middle and high school programs also have adventures and learning occurring on-site and in the community. Both programs had a blast when SD School for the Blind and Visually Impaired joined us for our annual goalball tournament in February. The students enjoyed interacting with the students from SD and had a special adventure when they all attended country singer Justin Moore’s concert at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. This was a new, exhilarating experience for most students! Both programs also learned about riding the bus and practiced using the local CAT bus system. Our middle schoolers participated in the Lion’s Peace Essay contest and got to attend a Lion’s breakfast and watch a magic show. Three of our students were recognized with prizes for their writing. In March, our high school students entered the Benefits of Audio Description in Education (BADIE) contest, which is an essay contest for blind and visually impaired students where they review any audio-described film or video. Our 10th – 12th graders also obtain vocational experiences in the community while attending our programs. Some experiences occur at a local Mexican restaurant, a preschool, local boutique, and Hugo’s. They also give back by volunteering at the Circle of Friends Humane Society and other community programs. The past semester was full of Expanded Core Curriculum experiences!

The excitement will continue as we look forward to our upcoming summer programs scheduled for first through 12th graders. The following is information on our upcoming summer programs.

Our Middle School Summer Program is taking place June 4-7, 2023, in the beautiful Lake Metigoshe area! This program is for students entering 6th/7-9th grades and incorporate lessons in the Expanded Core Curriculum and social outings. Our outings will include taking part in activities through Annie’s House, a rock-climbing or zipline excursion which students have found to be exhilarating in the past, arts and crafts, and hiking at Metigoshe State Park. Please contact Cindy Williams to register by May 17th at ckwillia@nd.gov. Visit our website or the following link Middle School Summer Program for further information. 

We look forward to your teen joining us in Jamestown for our High School Summer Career Program! This program is intended for students currently in grades 9 – 12 and will focus on lessons regarding college and employment readiness – including higher education access.

Students will also experience:
•    Accommodations in a VRBO where students will be responsible for meal planning and cooking preparation
•    Partaking in a service project through Farmer’s Union Camp
•    Recreational experiences and fun! 
•    And of course, lessons incorporating the Expanded Core Curriculum 

This program will take place June 12 – 15th. Please contact Shanna Hanson to register and for further information at shanhan@nd.gov or phone 701-795-2708. The registration deadline is June 2nd. Visit our website for more information. 

Our Elementary Summer Program (grades 1-5/6th) takes place July 30 - August 2 on-site at NDVS/SB in Grand Forks. Our theme and activities incorporate the ND State Library Summer Reading Program "All Together Now." Join us for some fun, learning, and story adventures centered around the Expanded Core Curriculum! Visit our website for further information and contact Cindy Williams at ckwillia@nd.gov by June 24th to register.

Please contact me through email ckwillia@nd.gov or phone 701-795-2704 to register for any of our upcoming summer programs or with any questions regarding our short-term programs. We have also included our short-term program calendar for the upcoming 2023-24 school year in our newsletter. 

Thank you for sending your child/student to learn and discover new experiences and independence while attending our programs! We wish all our students, families, and educational partners a joyful summer and look forward to working with you during our Short-Term Programs!

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