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Let's Read. Let's Move.

Categories: Activities, Assistive Technology, Blind or Visually Impaired, Learning Disabilities

RFB&D was honored and delighted to be invited by the U.S. Department of Education to showcase our accessible content offerings to a host of children, parents and teachers at Let's Read. Let's Move. -- a unique enrichment series held in the nation's capital. Let’s Read. Let’s Move. springs from the Obama Administration’s United We Serve initiative, a nationwide effort of the White House and the Corporation for National and Community Service that calls on all Americans to make service a part of their daily lives. Hosted by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (seated above left), the event drew an energetic outpouring of children, parents, teachers, and media. Special guests included U.S. Congressman Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island); Kareem Dale, special assistant to the President of the U.S. on disability policy (seated center); and actor Quinton Aaron (above right), who portrayed football star Michael Oher and starred with Sandra Bullock in the movie “The Blind Side.” Inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama's passionate advocacy for children's literacy and health, “Let’s Read. Let’s Move.” attracted young people from across Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Many of them came from institutions like the Stafford Junction Summer Camp and Stafford Public Schools, Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind, the Maryland School for the Blind, Meridian Public Charter School, and the St. Patrick’s Episcopal Horizons Program. During the program, they received free books and healthy snacks, participated in fitness games, and explored the world of accessible content with RFB&D and our co-exhibitors American Printing House for the Blind and Bookshare.   Above: Congressman Langevin read a book called House Mouse Senate Mouse by Peter W. Barnes and engaged the children in a lively discussion about how laws are made in Congress, using the humorous example of passing a bill to establish a national cheese.  Earlier, Kareem Dale read the Braille version of If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier, telling the stories of two fictional children who decide to run for the highest national office. At the children's request, Kareem also shared what it is like to work with President Barack Obama. After the book readings, actor Quinton Aaron spoke to the children about his involvement with the “Quarterbacks of Life” student mentoring program, which uses real-life stories to help students, beginning in the fourth grade, to achieve success in school and in life. The mentors teach children that success is attained most often by individuals who make responsible decisions, provide support to teammates and friends, and who have dreams, high self-esteem, and a “can-do” attitude.  Quinton also fielded a series of intensive questions from the children about what it was like to star in "The Blind Side" and how movies are produced. Along with our co-exhibitors, we felt an enlivening sense of connection with children, parents and teachers as they came by to learn about accessible content and listen to a selection of DAISY-formatted audio books on our laptops and various DAISY players. Many thanks to our colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education for including RFB&D in such a rich and holistic event.

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