Spring is in the air, and Guide Dogs for the Blind was thrilled to welcome the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired of San Francisco's Little Learners program to our California campus for its annual Spring Celebration. Little Learners is a program that works with families of young children, from birth to age 3, who are blind, deafblind, have low vision or neurological visual impairment, or whose developmental delays include blindness or low vision. The children and their families spent the sunny day participating in beeping egg hunts, creating arts and crafts projects, and meeting lots and lots of GDB dogs and puppies, including guide dog puppies in training, Ambassador dogs, and K9 Buddies.
GDB’s Youth Services Specialist Jane Flower said that collaborating with the Lighthouse to host the event on our campus was a natural fit. "Greater independence and engagement in the world are the aims of LightHouse Little Learners," Jane said, "which aligns so well with GDB's vision of an inclusive world where people with visual impairments have equal opportunities and live full, independent lives."
GDB has several free programs that provide youth and their families an opportunity to explore being a part of our community starting at a young age. Our K9 Buddy program in particular matches specially-selected dogs to become wonderful pets and companions for people of all ages, but children can be eligible starting at age 5. Parents at the event were able to learn more about the K9 Buddy program and how to apply if and when their children are ready. "For a child, a dog can contribute to sensory development, motivate learning, and enhance self esteem," Jane said. "We look forward to many years of lasting relationships between Little Learners and our programs here at GDB."
Several Bay Area television stations covered the event. Click here to watch the news segment that aired on NBC Bay Area.
Many thanks to all of the GDB puppy raising volunteers and staff who were on hand to support the event, and to all of the LightHouse staff and volunteers for putting on such a wonderful, inclusive celebration.
Please enjoy this video recap of the event.