Funding For New Buses Provided by Miracles In Sight Eye Bank.

In 2012, Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind opened Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse as a unique after-school and summer camp resource for children who are blind or visually impaired. Nearly 100 local children in grades K-12 are visually impaired, but regular school bus routes can take more than an hour and families are hard-pressed to coordinate alternative transportation. Now, with funding provided by Winston-Salem-based Miracles In Sight, the second-largest eye bank in the U.S., IFB purchased two buses that will ensure all students can take full advantage of the Schoolhouse’s specialized educational and recreational programs. IFB will officially unveil the new buses featuring custom graphics along with leaders from Miracles In Sight during a special celebration event.

Shareff Stewart, a junior at R.J. Reynolds High School and a 9-year participant in the Student Enrichment Experience (SEE) programs at Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse, will speak about how he has benefited from the programs. Shareff now serves as a mentor to younger students.

Dean Vavra, Executive Director of Miracles In Sight Eye Bank, will present a check for $150,000 to David Horton, Chief Executive Officer of IFB, and David Barnwell, President of IFB’s supporting A Brighter Path Foundation. The donation reflects a long-standing relationship between IFB and Miracles In Sight and brings the eye bank’s total support to IFB to more than $1 million. Miracles In Sight is committed to helping all people with vision challenges, not just those whose sight can be restored through corneal transplants.
The non-profit A Brighter Path Foundation encourages activities and training that bolsters confidence, supports independence and increases the life and job skills of people who are blind or visually impaired. Resources funded through the Foundation include IFB’s Community Low Vision Centers in Winston-Salem, Asheville and Chapel Hill, Mobile Low Vision Care, Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse, and the Eye Care Education Center.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.

Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse on the campus of Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, 7730 North Point Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27106

Following the check presentation event, IFB will offer brief media tours of Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse, IFB Community Low Vision Center and the IFB manufacturing facility, including the Optical Lab where employees manufacture eyeglasses for military veterans.

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind (IFB) is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 40 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB also provides outreach through A Brighter Path Foundation, which operates Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem.