Okanagan children who are blind or partially sighted will have the chance to get hands-on at Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm, while connecting with others in the process.
Okanagan Community Discovery Day is an event by Blind Beginnings, an organization that’s served children with vision impairment for 11 years but is new to the Okanagan. At the event on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 12:45 p.m. children and their families will meet at 5011 Bella Vista Road for a guided hands-on experience that includes honey tasting and a presentation from Planet Bee staff.
“The goal is to connect families with each other,” says Shawn Marsolais, executive director of Blind Beginnings.
“It can be pretty isolating being the only child in your community who is blind or partially sighted, and so we’re trying to introduce these families to each other so that they feel less isolated, and do it in a way where the children themselves get some hands-on exploration.”
The activities are for families with kids of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, and will be conducted with their specific learning needs in mind.
“When they go to a field trip with school they maybe don’t get to touch things or they might not get any extra time,” explains Marsolais.
“This is like a family field trip, but where the blind child is going to get to touch and feel and explore through their other senses and have more time to check out what’s there.
Planet Bee is the first Discovery Day destination in Vernon, and Marsolais is hopeful the event can serve as BlindBeginings’ introduction to the city.
“We’d really welcome some new families to get involved and become a part of our community.”
Past events in the Okanagan have seen children and families meet up for bowling, a trip to the Kangaroo Creek Farm in Lake Country and a visit to the Arion Therapeutic Farm in Kelowna.
Families interested in registering are asked to email Jessica Rideout at firstname.lastname@example.org with their names, phone numbers and ages of the children who will be attending.