Campers to learn from Helen Keller’s experiences

Blind and severely visually impaired children soon will have the chance to learn from Helen Keller's experiences.

The inaugural Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience kicks off in October, thanks to funding from Optometry Cares® - The AOA Foundation and the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation. AOA Trustee Sam Pierce, O.D., presented a check for $10,000 to Camp Courage last month on behalf of the foundation.

"Our Optometric Oath reflects of the greatest gift to man: vision."

Camp Courage will offer hands-on learning experiences similar to those encountered by Keller. Keller was both blind and deaf from an early age, but demonstrated advanced knowledge and skills that have made her an icon. AOA Trustee Sam Pierce, O.D., with the first camper, Grace McClellan.

The camp, to be held annually in Tuscumbia, Ala., will introduce participants to arts and nature programs. Campers will learn though senses other than sight. Qualified teachers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of North Alabama will introduce educational, social and inspirational components to camp participants.

"This is the most exciting, innovative program to potentially inspire so many children with visual challenges and other disabilities to 'Be Like Helen,'" said Martha Rosemore Morrow, O.D., past president and board member of Optometry Cares®. "Our Optometric Oath reflects of the greatest gift to man: vision. I am so proud that Optometry Cares® - The AOA Foundation also cares enough to be a huge part of Camp Courage."

Dr. Morrow and fellow board member Kenji Hamada, O.D., serve as liaisons and have been working closely with Camp Courage and the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation.

"Our purpose is to show the fortitude and courage of Helen Keller and how, with the guidance and wisdom from her teacher, Anne Sullivan, one person can make a difference," said Sue Pilkilton, executive director of the Helen Keller Birthplace Foundation. "Those selected for the camp will come with their parents at no cost, and there will be designed activities for the parents, which will relate to the challenges faced by their children."

Sponsor a scholarship

Camp Courage applicants may apply for scholarships. Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring these scholarships can make a tax-deductible donation to Camp Courage: A Helen Keller Experience. Donate online by selecting the Camp Courage option. Or mail checks, made payable to "Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation" with "Camp Courage" on the memo line, to: 

Optometry Cares - The AOA Foundation
243 N. Lindbergh Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63141

September 27, 2013

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