by Paul Olson
Every time we create our newsletter to share information, describe past events or give you a preview of what is to come, our hope is that you will find it all useful. We hope that you will have a better understanding of the needs of the children and adults that make use of our services. We hope that you will find what we share inspiring in some way as well.
We are proud of the work that we do and the partnerships we have with individuals and other organizations. Really, though, the newsletter is about promoting hope and enthusiasm and awareness of what people can do. North Dakota Vision Services/School for the Blind is all about creating opportunity. We do that through the efforts of our staff and through many partnerships.
Let me take this opportunity to share a few of the great things that have been happening and some great new opportunities coming up.
• So far this school year we have had eight short-term program weeks for students in three different age groups with one more scheduled in May.
• We have three program weeks for students scheduled throughout the summer.
• We have held three adult training weeks with two more coming in May and June.
• In April we hosted yet another amazing Family Weekend in Bismarck which was a huge success even though travel on the first day was very hard due to the aftermath of a blizzard. It was a great turnout and a wonderful learning experience for all.
• Our proposed budget for the 2023-2025 biennium was accepted by the conference committee and just has to be voted upon with the larger budget bill for the Department of Public Instruction. This will allow us to keep carrying out our mission for two more years. We are blessed with a supportive legislature and a governor.
• Grand Forks will hold the North Dakota Association of the Blind Convention June 9-12, and on Friday, June 9th NDVS/SB will host a picnic and tours at our school for the attendees. Our partnership with NDAB is strong and mutually beneficial.
• Last but not least I will mention our great appreciation for the Lions Clubs of North Dakota. My club (the GF Lions) is planning to hold a community picnic fundraiser at NDVS/SB in August to benefit our programs and a couple other organizations. THANK YOU LIONS! For those of you who may not know, Helen Keller called upon the Lions in 1925 to become the Knights of the Blind and they carry out that mission very well.
Speaking of Helen Keller, we see her quotes frequently. Did you know she also had a motto?
Here it is: “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”