Seedlings Braille Books for Children's 2019 Second Quarter Newsletter
7-year-old piano prodigy inspires children's book, Cotton Candy Clouds
   You may have heard about Avett Ray Maness , 7, the blind piano prodigy from Ohio whose rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody and other songs on YouTube has made him a viral sensation.
   But did you know that his mother, Sara Moore , wrote a children's book for and about him called Cotton Candy Clouds ?
   Avett is the little rabbit in the story wearing round glasses. Moore wrote the book to describe clouds to Avett, who cannot see them.
   The beautifully illustrated and creatively written book has been transcribed into braille by Seedlings. It is available in print and braille for $13 on our website , or by calling 800-777-8552.
Seedlings visits Perkins School for the Blind!
   Seedlings' Community Outreach Manager, Karen Smith, toured the world-renowned Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA, while showcasing Seedlings' books at the Early Connections Conference there April 27.
   In this photo, she points to Seedlings' hometown of Livonia, MI, on Perkins' giant tactile globe. Built in 1837, it is the same globe touched by Perkins' most famous students, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan .
   Perkins is the oldest school for the blind in the United States.
Seedlings continues to lead in UEB
    With nearly 500 children's books in the new Unified English Braille code, Seedlings continues to be a leader among braille publishers in the United States.
   Seedlings has 485 titles in UEB for babies, beginning readers and independent readers. And it's adding new titles at the rate of about one a week.
    In addition to converting existing titles, Seedlings is regularly adding new books to its catalog. Recently added new titles for ages 0-5 include Never Touch a Dragon! , Never Touch a Spider! , Paw Patrol: Lend a Helping Paw , Sweet Child of Mine and I Love You Through and Through at Christmas, Too!
Enter to win VIP passes to PGA & support Seedlings!
   The PGA Tour is coming to Detroit June 25-30! You can enter a drawing to win a VIP package to attend by making a donation to Seedlings through the Rocket Mortgage Classic's Birdies for Charity Program!
   Simply go to the Birdies for Charity website , click Donate Now, choose between a Per-Birdie Pledge or Flat-Rate Donation, click continue, fill out the required information and confirm.
   Donate by May 31, and and you will entered to win two Honorary Observer Positions to walk inside the ropes alongside the PGA professionals on Saturday, June 29. The winner will be randomly selected June 3.
Supporting Seedlings is easier than ever!
   Here are two easy ways to support Seedlings: Shop on AmazonSmile or hold a fundraiser on Facebook!
   Every time you shop, start with AmazonSmile. You will find the same Amazon products, prices and service, but Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charity of your choice.
   Facebook fundraisers are equally easy, and 100% of the donations go to the charity of your choice! You can even ask family and friends to donate in honor of your birthday!
Chocolate birthday cake with giant 35 in front of it.
How have Seedlings' books made a difference to you and your family?
   Seedlings turns 35 years old this year! We would love to hear from people whose lives have been touched by our mission to make books accessible and affordable for children with vision loss. Please email quotes, photos and/or videos to Karen at Thank you!
Longtime volunteer assembles 10,000 braille books
Seedlings volunteer Shirley Brown adds braille to baby board books.
   Shirley Brown wanted something to do during her free time when not working for AT&T as a corporate trainer.
   “I went through all the craft things in the ‘80s - macramé, ribbon wreaths,” the Farmington Hills, MI, resident said. And they sufficed - for a time.
   Then she took a braille class and became a certified transcriber. She didn’t know anyone who was blind. “Something made me think, ‘This is what you need to do,’” she said. “I did it, and I’m still here.”
   Brown is one of Seedlings’ longest-serving volunteers. She started in 2000 and has assembled more than 10,000 books for Seedlings in the 19 years since. Brown adds the braille transcription to board books for Seedlings’ youngest readers.
   “It’s amazing how it adds up,” she said.
   Brown learned of Seedlings while transcribing textbooks into braille for another non-profit.
   Ann Christenson, Seedlings’ Production Manager, said Brown’s dedication and loyalty make her stand out. In 2004, Brown was honored with Seedlings’ Frances Hoetger Award, which recognizes volunteers who have gone above and beyond.
   “Because of her braille skills, Shirley would assemble the more difficult books that I wouldn’t give to anyone else,” Christenson said.
   Brown retired in 1986 from her AT&T job, but she continues to work as a volunteer at Seedlings, and the Seedlings staff is very thankful she does!
   “It’s rewarding to me to help a blind child read books a sighted child can read,” she said.
Seedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3 nonprofit.