In the nursery classes, our children learn how to feed and dress themselves, table manners and general courtesy, and how to play with other little children. As they advance, they learn how to count, sing in unison and put together simple wooden toys. The totally blind children learn what animals are like by feeling with their sensitive fingers live dogs and cats as well as stuffed birds and animals; those having some vision also learn from the animals and from blocks and picture books.
All the children learn nursery rhymes, have stories read to them and hear nursery songs on a phonograph. In darkness and in light. the class enjoys such ;activity as playing house and dolls for the girls, velocipede and wagon-riding for the boys Then they are old enough to begin learning how to read, the totally blind children are introduced to simple Braille characters, and those having partial vision begin with large type kindergarten books.
The expansion of the Institute's program to provide for the care and training of children of preschool age was a necessary and logical development of the Institute's service. These children, during the important formative years of their lives, could be, and sometimes have been, denied the expert attention so necessary to their normal growth. The uncontrolled habits and tendencies often acquired by blind children, if unguided during this impressionable period, not only retard their normal development, but also may cause irreparable injury to them.
The establishment of the Institute's nursery school provides a normal and happy childhood for many children and will become an important force in the whole educational process of the blind. We strive to give to these children every possible chance for the best start in life and every possible advantage gained through our experience and study of their problems.