The Fore!Kids Foundation recently invested $50,000 in Lighthouse Louisiana’s program of bringing certified teachers for the visually impaired into classrooms across New Orleans.
Through the program, children who are blind or visually impaired get one-on-one classroom training from Lighthouse Louisiana so they can access class materials and learn on par with their sighted peers.
The Fore!Kids Foundation is a project of the Zurich Classic PGA golf tournament, which has raised $26 million to improve the lives of 200,000 children annually.
Without a vision-itinerant teacher, kids with visual impairments can slip through the cracks. This might have been the case with Devine Wilson, an 8-year-old boy with low vision who was struggling to keep up with his sighted classmates at KIPP Central City before being paired with Lighthouse Louisiana vision-itinerant teacher Barry McDaniel.
Devine has been learning to take his time to work through questions, listen to instructions and initiate problem-solving. McDaniel teaches him the same skills that any 8-year-old would learn; he just uses different tools, such as large-print materials or magnification devices, to accomplish the same goals.
“I challenge them to try, even if that means trying and failing,” McDaniel said of his students. “The important thing is giving them the confidence to explore their options.”