On a wet and windy day, a bunch students from Larkin Community College visited ChildVision headquarters in Drumcondra. Some third years presented ChildVision with the tactile book they created, entitled Lexi and Billy and the second years were presenting them with eight story sacks.
After a visit from ChildVision and a request from them for tactile books or story sacks for the visually impaired children in their care, our third years decided to create a tactile book for very small children. Several stories were suggested, but the best story was created by Tia and Nicole based on the things that their 2-year-old sister and niece like to do in a day.
The third years spent eight weeks working on the book and are very proud of it. It was a difficult task for any group but a few students in this group have dyslexia and can struggle with reading and writing, which affects their confidence. The Library held a book launch to showcase the fantastic book that they produced during which the students demonstrated the book to attendees who wore dark glasses to help them appreciate how tactile the book is. Class tutors, teachers and the Deputy Principal attended the launch along with almost 50 students.
The story sacks created by the second years and contain several props related to a previously published children’s book. For example, the We’re Going on a Bear Hunt sack contains the book and many props that relate to the book.
The new library in ChildVision is amazing, full of bright and colourful shapes and textures. The students listened to a talk about the library and the work that they do. The students were fascinated to hear about how difficult it is to create books in braille, and how much space these books take up in the house of a visually impaired child. One visually impaired teenager, Johnny, who helps out in the library, happened to be there and graciously came and talked to our students about his life and his impairment.
A braillist created name tags in braille for each of our students and showed them the machines they use. One student expressed an interest in doing her transition year work experience in ChildVision next year.
We then explored the grounds, checking out all the animals and other interesting things they have at ChildVision--chickens, goats, bunnies, a fairy garden, horses, birds, greenhouse etc. We are very proud of the book our students produced and how much effort they put in to the story sacks, and we hope to continue to help ChildVision in the future.