What an Amazing First Year It Has Been!

Outings With Christina

by Christina Ivanna

Christina IvannaHas it really been only one year or so since I walked downtown Edmonds introducing our local community to the Louis Braille School? People were interested and had many questions about this new private day school for children who are blind or visually impaired. Most were surprised that such a school existed right here in our own backyard. Many asked how they might help or contribute in some way. Their generous donations of time, expertise, funds, and items have made a significant difference to the school. We will always be grateful to those who stood with us as we moved from the vision to a school in an actual building.

These days our list of donors and volunteers grows steadily. Some are old friends returning to help, some are new friends. Today we are recognized as that special school in Edmonds for children who are blind or visually impaired. The local newspapers have printed many an article or press release about the school. We receive calls weekly asking about our programs, for referrals, from other states asking if there is a Louis Braille School in their area, asking about books in braille or how to get a document brailled, or from folks who would like to volunteer at the school. It is heartwarming to have this support growing so consistently around our school.

One of our new collaborations is with the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder Drum Line and the Edmonds Boys and Girls Club. The Drum Line volunteered to do a special performance as a kick-off event for the summer braille camp. The Boys and Girls Club will join us, present the colors, and provide hotdogs after the program. The event will take place at the Edmonds Civic Stadium playfield, 310 6th Ave. North.

Other connections include the Woodland Park Zoo Education Outreach Program, the Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Guide Dog Users of Washington State, Seedlings Braille Books for Children, and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. As each day goes by, we find ourselves partnering with those in our local community, as well as some a bit farther away.

In April, we held our first auction which was a huge success as a fundraising and community building event. Many wonderful volunteers helped us put on an exciting and fun day. We have booked the date for next year’s auction, Saturday, May 17, 2008.

We look forward to a fun and exciting summer Braille Camp this year. Many unique and interesting activities have been scheduled.

We are also very excited about our upcoming 2007-2008 academic year. The Louis Braille School has in place a unique program that combines academics with learning to use a white cane and mastering skills of everyday living. The individual attention each student receives reaps many benefits. The vision has become a reality, and the foundation is solid.

Christina Ivanna is the Louis Braille School Outreach and Support Administrator
Phone: 425 778-2384 or email