Honoring Overbrook’s 2014 Retirees

June 12th, 2014

Overbrook School for the Blind is a very special place to work. So special, that once you are here, you often stay for quite a long time. It is the magic of the students and the staff that make our school a dynamic, responsive, happy place of employment. Each year we bid farewell to wonderful staff who have dedicated much of their career to serving the students at our school.

This year we are saying goodbye to three incredible people who have made our school shine brighter for many, many years. Yesterday we honored Catherine Schneck, Dennis Brookshire, and Regina Montanaro with a lovely farewell breakfast. We wish them peace, happiness, and a fun retirement. We will miss Catherine’s voice over the PA, Dennis’s photographs, and Regina’s assistance in the IEP office. Best wishes to our amazing retirees. Thank you for all of your dedicated years of service.

See photographs of the breakfast honoring the 2014 retirees.

Campus Wildlife

June 6th, 2014

Mach 1 is a box turtle and a long time resident of the west cloister of campus who may be seen out in the open upon occasion. He/she was here when Ms. Jackie Brennan, Director of Education and Professional Development, first arrived 35 years ago. According to Ms. Brennan, Mach 1 was named by a former science teacher. Ah, irony!

See two photos of Mach 1 (descriptions below):
1 In this photo, Mach 1 is in the grass and his/her head is partially inside his/her shell. Mach 1 is brown with some yellow markings and has a shiny shell.
2 A close-up photo allows one to see fine details, such as his/her eyes, nostrils and textured shell.

Fun Day FUN!

June 4th, 2014

Every year Overbrook School for the Blind hosts a fun day for the staff and the students. This year’s weather was glorious for the outdoor activities. It is a special day filled with laughs, cheers, cotton candy, and good times. We are grateful to everyone who helps make this day such a success: instructional staff, administrators, volunteers, the Philly Phanatic, PNC Bank, and of course the kids.

Click here for some photos of Fun Day (photo descriptions below):

1 A student in Middle School holds the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE”. She has a big smile on her face and is wearing a black and white striped jail uniform.

2 A student in the Elementary Program holds the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE”. He has his hat on backwards and is wearing a black and white striped jail uniform.

3 A student in High School has her hands through the bars of the “JAIL HOUSE” as she is counting a stack of Fun Day $1 bills.

4 The Philly Phanatic is posing with a woman wearing sunglasses and a huge smile on her face.

5 The Philly Phanatic is posing with two boys in the Early Childhood Program as the Executive Director of Overbrook watches them. One of the boys is holding a toy wooden whistle in his hand.

6 While playing a water game, a High School student stands with his eyes closed as a water balloon has just burst above his head and is about to drench him.

Annual Student Achievement Awards

June 4th, 2014

Beginning with the pledge of allegiance led by Early Childhood students, this year’s awards assembly lived up to the high standards set by the best of previous assemblies.

Moving at a brisk pace, the more than three-hour event went by in seemingly less time and was filled with laughter, smiles, and pride in genuine accomplishment in all areas, including sports, music, academics, orientation and mobility, work experience, and independent living. Students were additionally singled out for personal improvement, sustained excellence, perfect attendance, and more.

There are pictures of education staff, coaches, and Mr. Kitzhoffer presenting awards, congratulating students, and enjoying the interactions. All programs attended and were recognized, starting with the youngest students (Early Childhood), who were dismissed after their portion of the program, and extending to the older students, first the graduates, then the individual programs.

Special Senior recognition included The Wilhelmina Schwaiger Scholarship Award, The Blind Veterans Association of Pennsylvania William A. Hughes Award, The Loyal Daughter Emma N. Elliott Senior Award, and The Sergeant Brooks E. Gray Memorial Award.

See a slide show of the students and the staff enjoying the celebrations.

Glimpses of Our Beautiful Campus

May 28th, 2014

Late spring on campus continues to be beautiful. Many different types of flowers take their turns to bloom. While the time to enjoy them is brief, these photos should help to make the memories last.

View the following photographs:
Photo 1 is of a single large flower which is mostly white but with yellow towards the center.
Photo 2 is of a small plant with jagged leaves. It has small flowers with red petals and yellow centers. A few drops of rain may be seen on the flower petals.
Photo 3 is of two yellow marigolds. A few unopened buds are nearby.
Photo 4 is of two red roses in full bloom.
Photo 5 is of a single, very beautiful flower. It has petals which radiate from the center and are a mixture of dark purple, light purple, yellow and white stripes.

Sports Awards, A Celebration

May 23rd, 2014

At the school assembly, which followed the annual sports luncheon on Tuesday, May 20th, we celebrated all of our student athletes and their coaches. The coaches put in many extra hours working with the students, bringing them along as athletes and adults; teaching them to be the best that they can be. The athletes consistently rose to the their sports’ challenges, displaying their prowess, talent, grit, determination, and sportsmanship.

The Sports Awards celebration was the time to shine, fist bump, high five, and more for students and staff. While there was much fun and a sense of pride on stage, there was an equal amount of joy and cheering in the audience.

See the photographs here.

OSB Hosts the 2014 Eastern Schools for the Blind Music Festival

May 22nd, 2014

Student musicians and music staff from The Governor Morehead School for the Blind, Maryland School for the Blind, New York Institute for Special Education, Perkins School, and St. Joseph’s School for the Blind joined OSB musicians and music staff on our campus for the 11th Eastern Schools for the Blind Music Festival, on Saturday evening, May 17th.

The student musicians proved their talent and displayed their professionalism throughout the evening,as they performed a wide ranging program that included Philadelphia Freedom, Fa Una Canzone, and I Heard it Through the Grapevine.

It was a festive evening that incorporated student art work at intermission and dancing after the concert.

See the following photos of the event:

five wide views of the stage taken from different angles . . . the stage is filled with student singers and music directors . . . four in color and one in black & white

two pictures of an engaged and energetic American Sign Language Interpreter

three pictures taken in the Rotunda during intermission . . . people are purchasing souvenirs, enjoying the art display, and socializing over cold beverages and snacks

Nine close-up and mid-range photos of students performing in the orchestra, in bell choir, and as soloists.

Spring Friends’ Reception

May 20th, 2014

This year’s spring Friends’ Reception, which was hosted in the Executive Director’s house, was well attended by supporters of the school, members of OSB’s Board of Trustees, staff, former staff, alumni, and representatives of other schools for the blind, who were on campus for the Music Fest.

The reception, as well as the music performance that followed in our Auditorium, was marked by camaraderie, a sense of accomplishment, and an understanding that there is always more to do on behalf of all our students.

View these four pictures:
1) an alumnus facing the camera
2) the Board President and Executive Director flanked by two staff members
3) an alumnus with his family
4) a former staff member with her husband

Spring Flowers on Campus

May 8th, 2014

The Overbrook campus is beautiful, especially in the spring. These photos were taken of flowers on campus from the end of April to the beginning of May. They are a welcome sight after the very cold winter we recently experienced. Tulips, Wisteria, Cherry Blossoms, and other flowers on campus are a sensory delight.

See the beautiful spring blossoms here.

Women’s Track and Field Practice

May 7th, 2014

These photos were taken on Monday, May 5 as the girls’ track team practiced after school. The girls and the boys will travel to the West Virginia School for the Blind this weekend for the E.A.A.B. track tournament. Go Huskies!

Check out these great photos from the Women’s Track practice, May 5, 2014.