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Seedlings Braille Books for Children's mailing address:
P.O. Box 51924
Livonia, MI 48151-5924
Seedlings' physical (and UPS) address:
14151 Farmington Road
Livonia, MI 48154
Toll-free phone: 800-777-8552
Phone & fax: 734-427-8552
March 2017: Seedlings' Founder and Director was named Person of the Week by Detroit's Channel 7.
They filmed a wonderful piece about Seedlings:
Seedlings' Bowling for Braille Books event was on Channel 7 News
thanks to our celebrity bowler: Dave Rexroth, Detroit's #1 Meteorologist!
To see a nice piece about Seedlings on PBS' "A Wider World": click here.
Seedlings' MissionSeedlings Braille Books for Children is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to increasing the opportunity for literacy by providing high quality, free and low cost braille books for children.
Seedlings' Letter of Determination from the IRS
Seedlings' HistoryIn 1984 when Debra Bonde founded Seedlings, braille materials were scarce and expensive. Her goals were to increase the availability and lower the cost of braille books for children in order to promote their literacy skills and the love of reading. In 1985, the first year of book production, Debra made 221 books in her basement office. By 1990, Seedlings was producing 5,000 books per year, which precipitated its move out of Debra's basement and into the Bentley Center in Livonia, Michigan, and eventually to our present location on Farmington Road in Livonia. In 2017, with a small staff, and a group of loyal volunteers, Seedlings produced over 34,000 braille books and articles (half of which were given away for free), with a grand total of 511,500 since 1984, equaling over 22 million pages of braille! For more information, see Seedlings' 2017 Annual Report and Seedlings' 2017 Audit.
In 1994, Seedlings added The Rose Project, which provides encyclopedia articles in braille for student's projects and reports. The Rose Project has become a very popular resource for students eager to work independently. We anticipate requests for approximately 500 articles per year. Thanks to generous donations from our supporters, this service is entirely free to visually impaired students in grades 1-12. (To order an article, please click on "Special Projects", and then on "The Rose Project".)
Seedlings' BooksSeedlings' braille materials have opened up new worlds for thousands of children. Seedlings Braille Books for Children is keeping visually impaired children in the mainstream of popular literature and is reaching braille readers in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Seedlings contributes to literacy by providing visually impaired children equal opportunity to develop the love of reading. At this time, less than 20% of the 50,000 blind children in the United States are proficient in braille. All too often, the written word has been inaccessible to them, and this is what we are working to change.
Braille books are provided at each level of development, from toddler board books to classic literature for older children. Just as sighted children learn to "read" as they are exposed to the printed word, so do visually impaired children who are exposed to the tactile page at an early age. New titles are added every year as highly skilled volunteer braille transcribers spend countless donated hours translating print books into braille and preparing them for computer disk to await production. Once the original translation is complete, additional books can be printed as needed. Exposure to popular, high quality braille literature throughout childhood increases the likelihood of children developing into able braille readers.
Seedlings' FundingAs a non-profit organization, Seedlings gives away about half of their books and sells the rest for a fraction of what it costs to make them. Support is very broad based and comes from individuals, philanthropic groups, corporations and private foundations. Seedlings is not a United Way agency and receives no government grants. Thanks to hundreds of generous donors and dedicated, hardworking volunteers, the price of Seedlings' books remains far below actual production costs, averaging only $10 per book.
View Seedlings' 2017 990 Form here.
Seedlings' 2018 Board of DirectorsGretchen Alaniz, Sr. Audit Mgr.
Arthur Cole, CPA
Terry Crouson, Business Consultant
Ann Devereux, Parent of Blind Child
Ben Gehle, VP Business Banking
Patty Graff, HR Administrator
Katelyn Kelel, Braille Reader
Jessica Kusku, Teacher of Visually Impaired Students
Sharon Marsh, Parent of Blind Child
Sarah Saltzman, Event planning
Cheryl Shewach, HR Director
Richard Swaine, Hospital Administrator, CPA
Joel Zatell, Teacher of Visually Impaired Students
Seedlings' Board Members receive no financial compensation
for their services.
Seedlings in the news ...
Read the article here.
July 2015: Seedlings wins the prestigious Bolotin Award: The National Federation of the Blind on July 10 presented a $10,000 cash award to Seedlings Braille Books for Children as one of five organizations and individuals honored with a Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award which goes to innovators in the blindness field. The award took place at the 75th national convention of the National Federation of the Blind annual convention held in Orlando, Florida. Read more about it here.
February 2015: The Livonia Observer gives Seedlings' Director their Citizen of the Year Award:
Read the article here.
May 2010: The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International presented Debra Bonde, director and founder of Seedlings Braille Books for Children,
with its Distinguished Service Award for the State of Michigan for providing exemplary service to education and educators in Michigan.
The presentation took place on May 1 in Traverse City.
January 2006: Seedlings' founder and director was selected for an award by Harlequin's More Than Words Program--"Ordinary Women who have made extraordinary contributions to their community". For more information, please click on the following link: Harlequin More Than Words.
May 2002: Seedlings' founder and director was selected as a "Michiganian of the Year" by the
© 2005 Seedlings Braille Books for Children P.O. Box 51924, Livonia, MI 48151-5924 • (734) 427-8552 or (800) 777-8552 email@example.com
"By the touch of a finger behold the world." © Perspective Et. Seedlings' logo by Jackie Lams of StudioLams LLC www.studiolams.com