NC ELSSP-VI Newsletter

August 2019

Each child will be honored, respected, and empowered to achieve success in school and life.

North Carolina Early Learning Sensory Support Program for Children with Visual Impairments

NC Department of Public Instruction

Exceptional Children Division


Amazing Kids - Staff

Free Braille Books From Seedlings - Lin Causey

ELSSP-VI Clean Up Days - Staff

What Did We Do Before GPS? - Becky Lowrey

Professional Development Opportunities - Lin Causey

Staff Birthdays for August

Photo/Video Credits

Free books from Seedlings

Free Braille Books for Kids!

200 U.S. kids, ages 0-21, can each receive free braille books of their choice worth up to a total of $50, just by submitting a photo (or video) and a quote about our books!

All you need to do is:

1. Send us a photo or video of your child reading one of Seedlings' books and

2. Send us a short paragraph saying why you and your child love Seedlings' books.

The details:

1. Just one entry per family please (U.S. residents only).

2. Include your contact information: address, phone, email address, plus your child's name and age.

3. In your paragraph, please tell us a little about yourself along with why you love & need our books.

4. Your entry will opt you in to receive future emails about our books & offers.

5. By entering your photos, videos, and quotes, you are giving Seedlings permission to possibly use them on our website, on social media, or in our promotional materials (if chosen, only first names will be published).

6. Since we may want to include your photo in our catalog or annual report, etc., please try to send well-composed, high resolution photos.

7. Only the first 200 people who submit qualifying entries will receive a code to use to order your free books.

8. This offer will expire when 200 valid entries have been received or by August 31, 2019, whichever comes first.

Enter ASAP by emailing your entry to:

or by mailing it to: Seedlings, P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924

This VERY special offer was made possible by Seedlings' wonderful donors.

Happy Reading!

Seedlings Braille Books for Children

PO Box 51924

Livonia, MI 48151-5924


ELSSP-VI Clean Up Days

In late June, ELSSP-VI staff participated in a three-day clean up event throughout the state. On June 25, 26, & 27 staff reported to their assigned locations to clean and organize materials. Please see the pictures below from our office in Raleigh and storage sites throughout the state. Thank you for your hard work!



Asheville & Charlotte

What Did We Do Before GPS?

By Becky Lowrey

About a week ago I met a home health nurse. She and I got to talking about our itinerant ways, as folks who travel do.

“I just don’t know how I’d do it without my GPS.” She remarked.

I smiled and nodded, and replied, “When I first became an itinerant teacher, I think I had all the maps for western NC in my glove compartment. When I did get a cellphone, it was a flip phone. No Google Maps, No Waze.”

She stared at me with unbelieving eyes. “How did you do it?” she asked incredulously.

It took me back to getting directions from families, since many were in rural areas and you were lucky if the street was marked by a route number. Typically, the family member was whomever was staying home with the child if they weren’t in daycare, and this was Me-maw or Maw-maw or Aunt Ci-Ci or the occasional Pa-paw.

“You’ll go down 64 for about 2…no…maybe 4 miles.” Covers phone to yell to husband. “Clyde! Did Jimbo run over the sign post again at the four-way?”

“How the …..” – from Clyde. “Watch your mouth! I gots that new teacher on the phone!” (uncovers mouth piece) “Honey, let me get Clyde to run down there and check. It won’t take but a minute. You’ins just hold on.” (covers mouth piece) “Clyde! Get off your butt and go check about that sign post. We gots to get that teacher out here for ‘Tater.” More muffled yelling.

“He’ll be right back, honey. Now…where’s you comin’ from?”

Five minutes later, Clyde came back to report that there was no sign post and that he would be having a discussion with Jimbo about this.

“Well, since the sign post is down…but it’s alright. When you get to that four-way, there’ll be a bunch of cows on your right, and you’ll turn there. That’s Creekside Rd. and you can park on off to the side where you see Clyde’s truck.” Clyde in background – “It’s a ’73 Ford..” (covers phone)“Clyde, it’s the only d--- truck there and it hain’t gone nowhere since 1989!” (uncovers phone) “Now, there’s a small bridge you’ll have to go over on foot and then it’s just straight up the path. Easy-Peasy.”

“Great. One question. What if there are no cows at the four-way?”

“Oh, honey. They’ll be cows there. There’s always cows. Can’t miss ‘em!”

Clyde in background – “Not if they’re in t’other pasture..”

(covers phone) “D----‘t Clyde! Just make sure the cows is there!” (uncovers phone) “Now, when you want to come honey, other than Thursday when ‘Tater’s got an appointment with one o’ his doctors, we’re at home.”

Visit time was set and on the appointed day, I ferried out in my state station wagon hoping for cows and a somewhat maintained road to park my vehicle on…behind Clyde’s truck. I had been doing this long enough to understand that I needed at least 20 extra minutes to locate the “four-way” and the congregation of cows. Zipping down the two-lane NC highway, I sailed through what could have been a “four-way”, but with no stop signs and large pastures on either side. My inner mapping system began sending off alarm bells, and I turned around about a mile up the road and headed back. I knew I had gone about as far as I should…but no cows. As I slowed, I saw what looked like the remnants of a deconstructed sign post and four-wheeler tracks. I held my breath and turned. After bumping along the pot-holed incline about a mile and a 1/2, a rusty ’73 Ford truck came into view. I parked behind it praying that no one else lived above the family, as anyone coming the opposite way might side-swipe my car. After grabbing my “teacher bag” and my FVA kit from the back, I turned to look at the bridge, two 2 by 4s over a small creek about 2 feet down. Thanking the Lord that I had the foresight to wear my Reeboks, I balanced my bags on either side and carefully tread across the make-shift bridge. Holding onto the rhododendron, I scaled up the foot path to a tiny, but well-kept house, where a small, muscular older woman met me as I huffed and puffed onto the front porch.

“You found us alright, I see!” She said with a grin.

“Well…” I wheezed, “No cows. Just thought you’d like to know, in case they were supposed to be there.”

“What!? Clyde! Don’t tell me you moved them cows this morning. You knew the teacher were acomin’!”

Clyde came to the door holding a toddler boy whom I surmised was ‘Tater.

“And I told you, woman, that I moves those cows every alternate Tuesday! This here is an alternate Tuesday. She found us. No harm done. Come on in, Miss, and I’ll introduce you to ‘Tater.”

The next visit (on a Wednesday), there were cows in the pasture, and the post had been hoisted up with a hand-written street sign pointing the way to Creekside Rd. I also noticed that the 2 by 4s had been replaced with a sturdier looking foot bridge. I shouldered my bags telling myself that I must have made a good impression during the first visit. Clyde met me on the front porch, as he was watching ‘Tater who was repetitively pushing a button on a light toy I had left with the family.

“I see that the sign is back up, and you all put in a new bridge,” I smiled widely.

“Yea…”, he said tapping his cigarette out beside him on the porch. “’Tater’s gettin’ this other person now. I think she said she’s a physic therapist or something like that. She had a fit about the sign not being up and the bridge being dangerous… Now, you – you had no trouble a’tall. Some people…”, he signed. “…Come on in. ‘Tater sure ‘nuff likes that toy you left him.”

Moral of the story: Cows are transient beings, and one should never get a big head.

Professional Development Opportunities

Big picture

September 12-14, 2019, 66th Annual NCAEYC Conference Raleigh Convention Center

The learner must choose sessions that are related to infants and toddlers and their families to receive Infant-Toddler Program (ITP) credit.

September 25, 2019, Coaching in Early Childhood FREE Webinar

October 3-4, 2019, UNC TEACCH Autism Program Conference-Understanding & Supporting Autism in the Early Years, Chapel Hill, NC

The learner must choose sessions that are related to infants and toddlers and their families to receive Infant-Toddler Program (ITP) credit.

November 20–23, 2019 NAEYC Annual Conference Nashville, TN

Ongoing, Childhood Trauma: Understanding, Supporting, and Preventing Self-paced module, FREE

Ongoing, Neurotypical Brain Development: "How Different Is It from Autism, ADHD, Language Delay, etc.?" Webinar

The FREE webinar is on demand. It does not offer a certificate upon completion, so to receive IT credit the individual should attach the following to their “NC ITP Documentation of Continuing Professional Development” form:

Available slides, handouts, documents, and other training materials associated with the training;

A statement about how the training supports evidence-based practices for infants and toddlers; and a write-up of how you will apply the information learned from the training in your work.


Kathy Russell August 14

Marigail Matthijs August 16

Andi Finney-Ratliff August 19

Photo/Video Credits