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Jul 21, 2011

Visually Impaired Youths unimpaired at camp

Visually impaired children from across the country have been participating in the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired Summer Camp.  It is the fifteenth anniversary of the camp, and every year since its inception, the children engage in a number of activities from field trips to visual arts. Earlier today, the BCVI held an all day exhibition of the work the children have accomplished during the past two weeks.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Today the BCVI held its open day to showcase the work the students have been doing over the past two weeks at their annual summer camp. Communications Officer for the BCVI says that the children have been expressing and exploring around the country:

Carla Musa

Carla Musa, Communications Officer, BCVI

“We were very fortunate to have Gilvano Swasey working with the children for two weeks. They’ve produced a variety of crafts and arts and things that we have on display right now. We’ve also done a lot of educational courses with them in preparation for the upcoming school year because that’s really important. And we’ve done a lot of field trips because we can’t forget the fun stuff and the kids went to duets, they loved it; thanks channel 5. And Bacab, they went to the zoo, so they’ve done a lot they’ve been very active and we hope that everybody feels fully prepared for school.”

Children ages four to eighteen participated in the summer camp. And with a wide range of activities, they all enjoyed different aspects:

Rowan Garel

Rowan Garel, Summer Camp Participant

“We had different activities; we had math classes you know for educational purposes just to evaluate the skills that we learned. We had computer and then we would go on field trips to say Bacab or something like that.”

Andrea Polanco

“What did you enjoy the most?”

Rowan Garel

“Surprisingly, the Math classes.”

Andrea Polanco

Briana Chuc

“So what did you enjoy the most?”

Briana Chuc, 9 years old, Summer Camp Participant

“I enjoyed going to the trips and going to the zoo. And we have one sleep over at once.”

Andrea Polanco

“Why is it that you come to this camp every year?”

Briana Chuc

“Because it has special stuffs that I like to do and special places that I like to go.”

Andrea Polanco

“You di enjoy this summer camp?”

Alyssa Fisher

Alyssa Fisher, 4 Years Old, Summer Camp Participant

“Yes, we gwein pahn bus. I learn the Braille machine.”

Andrea Polanco

“And what else?”

Alyssa Fisher

“And shapes.”

And for parent, Carol Fisher, like many others, the benefits of the camp are overwhelming:

Carol Fisher, Alyssa’s Mother

Carol Fisher

“She was introduced to the Braille Machine. It has been a challenge for her as she has never used one before but over the two weeks she has been learning how to use it and that’s what she has been doing.”

Andrea Polanco

“So you believe this summer camp really is helping her?”

Carol Fisher

“Yes, so far it has. It has improved her because what she has been learning at school is something different from what she has been learning here. Come September she will be using this Braille Machine in school, so the introduction right now will do her well.”

Andrea Polanco

“What has she been saying to about all that she’s been doing?”

Carol Fisher

“Well her main thing was the KTV that she, KTV Duets that she has been at. That was one of the main things. She kept talking about it.”

Musa says the summer camp activities are tailored for the children:

Carla Musa

“I think that the kids have surprised themselves; I think the parents are surprised. We’ve had some of them actually tell us how happy they are with the social aspect of it, so in that sense the younger ones are prepared to be around other children and work with other children. For the older children, I think our computer classes and exposure to researching to surfing on the internet, searching on the internet, using voice recorders for note taking and lectures in school. I think all of has been extremely beneficial to them.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

The summer camp comes to an end on Friday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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