John Thompson, president of the Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis, said, "This is a record number of Space Camp scholarships that the Lighthouse has granted since we began offering Space Camp scholarships in 2006 as part of our "See the Future" programs." Every year, the Lighthouse provides scholarships for children who are visually impaired and blind, aged 9 to 18 years, to attend Space Camp for Interested Visually Impaired Students (SCIVIS) at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This year's SCIVIS session runs September 20-25.
"Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis this year donated $50,000 for what we call The Lighthouse Visions Scholarship. This enables us to bring in 14 students with unique cultural backgrounds who are visually impaired from across the U. S. and seven other countries for Space Camp in addition to school kids in Missouri," Mr. Thompson said.
"The growth of our Space Camp scholarship program supports our mission to give hope and opportunities to those who are blind or visually impaired," Mr. Thompson added.
Angie Yorke, Community Enrichment Programs Manager at the Lighthouse, said, "SCIVIS uses space to excite and educate students in math, science and technology. Benefits include building teamwork, self-confidence and communication skills learned through state-of-the-art simulations of space missions, rocket building, robotics and conducting experiments on the 'International Space Station.' The program includes presentations by NASA professionals who are blind discussing career choices and working in the space industry."
Some of the Missouri schools or schools districts with students participating in Space Camp this year include those in metro St. Louis, Rogersville, Scott City, Springfield, Warrenton, Willow Springs and Wright City.
Space Camp is coordinated by teachers of the visually impaired from across the United States. Special considerations are extended during camp week to help the students feel at ease during training for "space missions."
The students will also benefit from the latest technology such as tactile Braille displays, CCTV's, large print output, and synthetic speech for computers. Siblings or friends of the visually impaired students are welcome to visit during the week. The Lighthouse scholarships cover each student's tuition for meals, lodging, programming and materials.
Also known as LHB Industries, Lighthouse for the Blind-Saint Louis is a non-profit entity that helps adults and children who are visually impaired maintain dignity and independence by offering Employment, Education and Support Services.
The Lighthouse currently employs nearly 50 people who are legally blind at its plants in the cities of Berkeley and Overland in St. Louis County. The Lighthouse and its employees manufacture, assemble, warehouse and sell high-quality products to government and business customers nationwide. These include first aid kits, medical kits, catheters, aerosol and liquid paints, aerosol and liquid cleaning products, eco-friendly products and many others, including Quake Kare emergency survival kits.
All sales revenues directly support Lighthouse programs including Professional Career Development; Summer Orientation & Mobility and Adapted Living Resource program (S.O.A.R.); Summer Jobs for Students; Continuing Education; Arts & Entertainment Accessibility; Low Vision Aid; and others available for individuals who are legally blind and visually impaired in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois.
For information, contact Brittney Smithers, Marketing & Sales Specialist, at 314.423.4333 or visit the website www.lhbindustries.com