Friday, March 23, 2007

Donation of school supplies to visually impaired students

This was one of many items that members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hemecinto Aerie No. 4055 presented to teachers of the visually impaired on Thursday.

Carol Brock and Molly Morton continue to work with students even though both have officially retired from the Riverside County Office of Education program that serves hundreds of students.
"Each teacher used to have eight to 10 students but now they have 20 to 30," Brock said.
Joe Owens, a past worthy president and current vice president of sires, said the charitable group contacted Brock toward the end of 2006 to request a wish list. One of the Eagles' pet projects is assisting the junior blind.

"After we got Carol's list we determined the cost and presented it at our meeting -- it was approved so I ordered everything," Owens said. The cost was $1,864. he said.

Brock thought it was important to add card games, bungee balls and other toys to the more traditional educational items because there are not many readily available.

A Perkins Brailler was purchased for a 5-year-old girl in Anza who is starting kindergarten.
"This is like their pencil," Brock said. "It was a pipe dream for me to be able to get it for her."
Amanda, 7, and Ulises Gomez, 20, both of Hemet, received Braille watches along with the calendars and other items collected for six students.

"This is absolutely wonderful," said Amanda's mom, Cassie Knilans. "She's advanced and this is fantastic for her to have."

Brock said she always wanted to work with the visually impaired, but when she was in college more than 50 years ago, ophthalmology wasn't a field many women entered.

Morton is in demand because she has a dual credential and is able to teach blind students how to use canes and read Braille.

"They just need their own tools to do what everyone else does," Morton said.

Timelines for visually impaired students are the same as other students, she said.

"Subjects are just all in Braille."

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is a nonprofit beneficial and charitable organization founded in 1898. There are more than 1 million members worldwide. Since its beginning, the group has given more than $100 million to local and national charities ranging from buying schools supplies for homeless children to supporting St. Jude Children's Research center.

Eagles also support the armed forces, police and firefighters and others who protect and serve the community. Money is also raised for research in heart and kidney disease, diabetes and cancer.
Information, 951-929-4055.

Reach Diane A. Rhodes at 951-763-3456,


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