Visually impaired students in the Lawrence school district might get some help keeping in shape thanks to the local Ladies Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
Last week, the auxiliary presented the district with $2,000 to be used in aiding the visually impaired. Mary Gordon, the district's teacher of the visually impaired, said the money might be used to purchase a treadmill.
"We tend to teach from the ears up, but we really should teach the whole child," Gordon said, adding that many visually impaired students could use some help in the area of cardiovascular exercise.
Gordon said that if she does start her students on a fitness program, "I think it could be a really good research project for a student at Kansas University in the area of adaptive physical education."
Gordon said she also might use the money to buy a small trampoline with a safety bar.
The Eagles auxiliary has made three other donations to Gordon's department in the past, allowing for the purchase of a computer and aiding in the purchase of a special printer.
Gordon said the computer has been invaluable for visually impaired students. One word processing program can vocalize letters, words or whole sentences that have been typed so that students can know if they've made any mistakes.
The special printer writes in Braille, allowing visually impaired students to read their written works for editing purposes before printing out their creations on a regular printer.
Gordon said she presently is working with seven visually impaired students, only one of which is totally blind.
Doris Bateson, Grand Madam Inside Guard of the Eagles Auxiliary, said this year's grant was made possible through the Jimmy Durante Children's Fund of the Eagles National Organization.
Money raised for the charity fund throughout the state is sent to the national organization. That money in turn is sent back to the state in the form of grants ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.