Categories
Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information Home Management Independence Training Program Senior Programs

Belted Kingfisher, Orange Belts and Yoga’s Doggie Down: A Typical Tuesday at CCB

So this is how Tuesday goes at CCB sometimes.

First thing this morning Alie Mays came for our “Birdying by Ear” class. Seven of us reviewed recordings of local bird songs, then walked over to Sterne Park, where we heard mallards, doves, goldfinches and of course Canada geese. Today’s mascot was the belted kingfisher, an unexpected find. He just kept calling and calling as he circled over the pond.

Allie Blanca C.G Dan and Mike walking around the pond at Sterne Park during Birding Class
A Mallard drake and two hens swim in the pond at Sterne Park
Alie quizzes the class on local bird sounds

In the Senior Resource Room something was happening called sugar scrub. Jenny Callahan led Seniors in making sugar scrub, using sugar (surprise) and oil and scents like lavender and almond. Whatever it is, it sure sounded fun to make, judging by the giggles and cackles.
A group of a dozen seniors along with CCB staff work on making sugar scrub
Our current Martial arts class is in its sixth week of kicking and punching their way to confidence and self-reliance. Wow! This group will get their orange belts and certificates before leaving for the holidays!
Rachael has the Martial Arts class practice a crouched defensive move

Our own Diane McGeorge led a philosophy discussion today. Our founder and a long-time leader in the National Federation of the Blind, Diane’s convictions about the capacity of blind people and her explanation about why the Colorado Center for the Blind needed to come into being were definitely something no one wanted to miss.
Diane speaks to the philosophy class
At lunch, Jackson served a great “mini-meal” of German meatballs over pasta, garlic bread and chocolate chip zucchini bread. Sad part: only fifteen of us got invited!

“Better than a restaurant,” said his travel instructor David.
Jackson with his servers Chris and Hindley and 2 plates on the counter ready to eat
Then there was the Senior art class downstairs, followed by the ITP art class. This is the fourth and final meeting for this latter group and for the year. Today’s lesson from Ann Cunningham was perspective using the Sensational Drawing Board. Stuff like “diminution of size.” That sort of thing. A new group will start up in January.

Ann works with C.G and Jackson on perspective drawingAfter hours our weekly yoga class was meeting to help us unwind a bit.

Is it like this every Tuesday. Almost, and though a few things will be missing from next Tuesday, it will be Colorado Gives Day, and plenty busy!

Categories
In the Media Independence Training Program

See What Graham’s Doing Here

Graham standing in front of the CCB logo in the front lobbyYou hear from us all the time about what’s going on at the Center, so here’s a chance to get a student’s story from the very first.

Graham arrived in Denver from Brooklyn in mid-October, and he’s been blogging each week about his time at the Center for his friends back home and wherever. Check out his blog, See What I Did There.

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Preorder #CCB for Dec. 6’s #COGivesDay, Get Free Shipping!

Colorado Gives Day Logo 2016Yes – Colorado’s single largest charitable giving day is barely a week away! And you can preorder your charitable gift to CCBfor delivery on December 6!

On that Tuesday, the Colorado Center for the Blind will be one of nearly 2000 Colorado nonprofits who will receive contributions.  During the same 24-hour period  last year, more than $25 million was given. Some of those donations were pre-scheduled on the cogives.org web site.

Contributions received on December 6 help qualify us for a portion of the $1 million incentive fund, ! That’s why prescheduling is important – to make sure your gift to CCB counts toward our total to qualify for the incentive fund.

What to do

  1. Go to the Colorado Center for the Blind Colorado Gives Day Page.
  2. Before December 6, make sure you schedule your gift for  Colorado Gives Day. To do this find the tab for CO Gives Day. It’s on the same line as “Today” and “Recurring.”  For screen reader users however, it doesn’t appear as a link or a button.  Hit “Enter” to select it.
  3. When you have done this and click Check Out, you’ll be asked to create an account in order to schedule your donation.
  4. On December 6, there’s no need to create an account or login, just follow the link and the steps to make your donation!

And that’s it! Check it off your holiday list, and don’t worry about checking it twice!

Categories
Home Management Independence Training Program

#Thanksgiving Turkeys and Structured Discovery

Before learning to carve a turkey, a blind person can greatly benefit from learning the bird by touch – how things are connected and how they will come apart. Since our students and Home Management staff started preparations for our own Thanksgiving meal (held a week before the actual holiday) Dishon Spears led students through this discovery process with turkeys that had been cooked and then refrigerated over night.

After that are some shots of all the food we ate! We have a lot to be thankful for!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Home Management

Thankful for Each Other: Our 2016 #Thanksgiving Together

A hand with tongs loading turkey onto a paper plate
Chris Kinney does his best Regis reading a card for Who Wants to Be A Millionaire
A Dozen Hotel Trays of food arrayed on three tables

We were more than ready by noon last Thursday! we’d been waiting for this meal for two weeks, smelling the roasting turkeys and the pies and so much more! Of course, all of our students had a part in preparing it, so they’d been right in the kitchen smelling what we were at last all going to be very, very thankful for!

It’s an annual event. A week before Thanksgiving we hold our own Thanksgiving gathering at the Center prior to everyone’s dispersal to families and friends across the country. We start off after morning classes with an hour or so of potluck appetizers furnished by staff and maybe a game or two. It’s our time to be together, and it’s a big deal and a big meal. A very big meal! This year, under the guidance of our Home Management Instructors Maureen, Shon and Delfina, our students prepared four turkeys, three kinds of stuffing, 30 pounds of potatoes, green bean-mushroom casserole (and one without), mac and cheese, a ham and pumpkin and pecan pies. There were candied yams and sweet potatoes and 100 homemade dinner rolls. And when we were all done, we pushed back our chairs a bit and went around the room, each offering at least one thing he or she is thankful for this year. The gist of it is this – we are thankful for each other, for our families and friends, for the opportunity for blind students to learn blindness skills and confidence from teachers who believe in them as blind people, for the opportunity to be those teachers sharing with their students, and for those leaders of the National Federation of the Blind (our founders) who believed that such learning was more than just possible, but necessary!

No, we don’t have any pics of people enjoying the meal, and we make no excuses. We were also feeding ourselves after all!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Chaz working at the stove with 3 large pots of mashed potatoes
Brittany T. at the electric stove with a pot of mashed potatoes

 

Categories
Challenge Recreation General Colorado Center Information In the Media Independence Training Program Senior Programs Youth Services

Colorado Gives Day is December 6 – Support CCB! @ColoradoGives #COGivesDay

Colorado Gives Day Logo 2016It’s that time again! Colorado’s largest day of online charitable giving is scheduled for Tuesday, December 6, and again featuring an incentive fund of $1 million from the Community First Foundation and First Bank.

You might remember that CCB was lucky enough to be featured on 9News’ coverage of the statewide giving program in 2014 and 2015. We don’t expect to be on TV again this year, but we do count on and appreciate the contributions we receive on Colorado Gives Day each year. Most importantly, donations made online on December 6 help to qualify us for a part of the $1 million Incentive Fund – making your donated dollar go even farther!

The funding we receive goes toward critical, but otherwise unfunded parts of our programs at CCB, including our Confidence Camp for 5- to 11-year-olds, FAST Saturday programs for youth, the challenge recreation activities that are such critical components of building confidence in our blind students, art classes and parts of our Senior Programs.

For the sixth year, Colorado Gives Day is powered by ColoradoGives.org, a year-round website featuring more than 1,800 nonprofits.

Start Early!

Can’t wait until Colorado Gives Day? Starting November 1, 2016, donations can be scheduled early. But you have to do it all on our Colorado Gives web page!

Support CCB on CO Gives Day!

Categories
Events Youth Services

Shark Dissection with @ArapahoeCC’s Terry Harrison Friday! #STEM

teacher and student bend over a dog shark
Terry Harrison works with astudent in 2014.

It’s that time of the year. Just as we start to think about turkey and stuffing with cranberries, it’s time for blind kids in the area to get hands-on with shark innards!

As he has for more than a decade, Arapahoe Community College’s Biology Professor Terry Harrison will lead a shark dissection at CCB on Friday, November 18. Harrison has partnered with CCB to ensure that blind kids in Colorado get actual experience in this one aspect of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Participants will handle the scalpels, determine sex, examine the lungs, liver and those sharp little dog shark teeth.

Start time is 10 a.m. on Friday and wraps up at 1 p.m. following pizza (no anchovies).

Students, teachers, or parents can contact Youth Services Director Brent Batron for more information or to reserve a spot – after all, there are only going to be so many sharks!

Categories
General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program

Sharing art before next week’s Shared Visions @artacunningham @ArapahoeCC

Wearing sleepshades, Jackson and Blanca work with 2 ACC students on arranging items for thermaform sculpturesWith just a week to go before the third annual exhibit, “Shared Visions Collaborative Artworks”, some Center art students traveled to Arapahoe Community College to make some art and to offer some feedback to painting students on their tactile works.

A black plastic sheet impressed with an apple atop one open and one closed bookFor their very first class with Ann Cunningham, the newest group of CCB art students composed objects on a flat plane and then used a thermoform machine put together by Ceramics Instructor Katie Caron. Some of the results are shown in the photo above – plastic sheets that, using a combination of heat and a vacuum, conform to the shapes of the objects. It’s basically the same process used in product packaging, but way more legit.

After finishing their thermoform pieces, students walked over to the painting studio and consulted with members of Nathan Abels’ class, who’ve been working on paintings with strong tactile elements. The painting class got a chance to get feedback from viewers using only their hands to experience the works.

“I think this is just awesome!” said CCB student Jackson Schwoebel, remarking On the notion that the entire painting class was producing works he could experience tactilely.

At the same time, Abels’ painting students were excited to learn how the elements of their work rendered for their blind visitors.

Blanca offers critique to an ACC student on her face, fur and feathers painting

A young woman tactilely examines a detailed sculpture that features a large eye in the center

All students in our Independence Training Program (ITP) eventually take an art course that lasts four sessions. While some of the specific activities may vary from class to class, the principles covered are the same: Art appreciation by introducing tactile literacy, spatial awareness, the basics of drawing using the Sensational Blackboard (which includes aspects of perspective), and a creative project. For this last, each class works in a different medium, ceramics, stone carving or, in this case, thermoform. an earlier class also spent time at ACC working on the wheel with one of Caron’s ceramics classes.

Why Art?

Beyond the obvious – enrichment and/or expression – the answers to the question “Why art?” are partly related to the broader cognitive implications of the concepts Ann incorporates in her four-part art curriculum. They generalize to other things we teach at the Center. Spatial awareness in drawing, for example, can benefit students in travel on the micro and macro levels. Tactile literacy mirrors, and perhaps enhances, the process of first learning to decipher the Braille code with one’s fingertips. And at next week’s reception for the Shared Vision exhibit, we’ll be incorporating the principles of structured discovery learning into our tactile interpretation and experience of the pieces on display.

Oh yeah, there’s that other thing – the one about those of us at the CCB and in the NFB knowing that being blind doesn’t have to mean being forever cut off from the visual arts.

The paintings and the thermoform pieces will be a part of the Shared Visions show, which opens with a reception next Thursday, November 10. The show will include works from two previous CCB art classes, as well as fall Ceramics and drawing classes taught by Caron and Abels, respectively.

Shared Visions Collaborative Artworks

November 10 – 18
Reception Thursday, November 10, 5-8 p.m.
The Colorado Gallery of the Arts

Gallery Location & Hours

• The gallery is located at our main campus, first floor of the ACC Annex building, A1300
• Monday – Friday: Noon – 5:00 p.m. (open Tuesdays until 7:00 p.m.)
• CLOSED ON WEEKENDS
• Free parking is available in lots A, B and C during Colorado Gallery of the Arts operating hours
• For general information, or to make advance arrangements for access accommodations, please call the Gallery at 303.797.5649 at least three business days in advance
MAP AND DIRECTIONS to the Colorado Gallery of the Arts

Categories
General Colorado Center Information

Raise your Lemonade Glass to the Curtis Hotel @thecurtishotel #WeLovetheCurtis

Marc Greytak presents check to Julie Deden at podium, Maryann Migliorelli looks on
Curtis Hotel Associates raised over $3000 for CCB in the third quarter of 2016. Marc Greytak, Finance Director, presents the check to Director Julie Deden at the NFB of Colorado convention. Boulder Chapter President and Curtis Associate Maryann Migliorelli looks on.

And now raise your lemonade glass in a toast to employees at the Curtis Hotel!

Last weekend, at the 2016 National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Convention in Lone Tree, Marc Greytak of the Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver presented a check to CCB for $3141.25.

That’s pretty exciting, you bet! What makes this donation a bit more interesting, however, is that the money comes from the employees of the Curtis. The Colorado Center for the Blind was selected to be the beneficiary of the Curtis’s #WeLovetheCurtis giving program. Associates at the Curtis can give in a number of ways, including by payroll deduction or from proceeds from its Friday fund-raiser, the “Lemonade Stand.”

How did CCB get picked for the program, you might ask? Well, from our own Maryann Migliorelli , who is one of those Curtis Hotel employees andalso president of the NFB of Colorado Boulder Chapter!

Thanks MaryAnn and all the associates at the Curtis – yes, #WeLovetheCurtis, too!

Categories
From The Director General Colorado Center Information Independence Training Program Senior Programs Youth Services

From Super Bowl Parade to Freedom Bells: A Video Retrospective of 2016

Got about 20 minutes to be wowed?

We’re just back from our 2016 National Federation of the Blind of Colorado Convention in Lone Tree from October 27 to 30. All staff and students attended and, since we’re an NFB training center (the NFB of Colorado started the Center in 1988), Executive Director Julie Deden always makes a report the the entire convention about all that’s happened in the last year. It’s always a highlight of an affiliate convention that is full of highlights. This year Julie’s report included this video of 2016 highlights and retrospective of our graduates this year. But you’ll have to wait till the end for the really, really cool part …