Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA's visual impairment, orientation and mobility program hosts collaborative holiday celebration for area children

December 11, 2015 - University Marketing Communications
Laura Poynor, Stephen F. Austin State University senior and Braille and Cane Club president, along with SFA student Trenton Rowland help children build Santa beards during a holiday celebration in SFA's Human Services Building.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Santa hats, glitter and glue covered the tables inside Stephen F. Austin State University's Human Services Building, as university students and more than 10 children from area schools attended a collaborative holiday celebration Wednesday.

SFA's visual impairment, orientation and mobility program, SFA's Braille and Cane Club, the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services - Division for Blind Services, and the East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind hosted the event.

"This event is an opportunity to collaborate with different agencies and give back to the community. It gives our program students an opportunity to work directly on various skills with some incredible area children who are blind or visually impaired," said Michael Munro, program director of the visual impairment, orientation and mobility program in SFA's Department of Human Services.

During the event, the children worked with SFA volunteers and students on different activities at craft stations. Activities included painting, ornament making, card decorating, Santa beard making, a treasure hunt through the snow and more. Santa also made a special visit.

Laura Poynor, SFA senior and Braille and Cane Club president, helped coordinate the event and said its benefits are two-fold.

"This event is really fun for a variety of reasons. First, the club can come together in a creative way. Several of our student members have visual impairments and several of us don't, but we are all together as a club," Poynor said. "For the kids, the crafts and activities get them moving, which is great for fine motor skills, problem solving and a lot of developmental qualities, but in the big scheme of things everyone just has fun."

Children from Nacogdoches ISD, Joaquin ISD and six schools in Lufkin attended.