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Coleman already knew one thing for sure about his future, and that was that he wanted to make educating children his life’s work. Coleman knowing about the lack of educational decrees in Florida decided to take the opportunity to advantage, by writing to Governor William D. Bloxham asking for a sum of $20,000 minimum appropriation to start a school for the deaf and blind. Coleman’s hopes came true when in 1883 Florida’s legislature establishes an institution for blind and deaf children for two years at ,000.
The location of the school was put to a biding between the towns in Florida. Captain Edward E. Vaill offered St. Augustine the biggest bid of $1,000 and 5 acres. The original three wood buildings were erected by contractor William A. MacDuff at $12,749. The school was completed in December 1884. The first class entered in 1892 with 62 students. The two first graduates were both deaf, their names were Artemas W. Pope of St. Augustine and Cora Carlton of Island Grove.
The two later married and became parents of Florida Senator Verle A. Pope.
The first blind student graduated in 1908. The first African American graduates were Louise Jones a blind student in 1914, and Cary White a deaf student in 1925. The school originally only had 5 trustees in 1905, until 1963 were there were 7. Taylor Hardwick began construction on new dormitories in late 1958 and opened in 1959. The school is now the largest of its type in the U. S. The school now has 47 buildings and 72 acres. The school’s annual budget is over million dollars.
The schools no longer an boarding school but, now a public school.
It’s the only school in Florida that is pre-school through 12th grade. It also has a post-secondary program. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges, and Schools. The Conference of Education Administrators serving the deaf, and the National Accreditation Council for Agencies Serving the Blind and visually handicapped. The school has two departments: the Deaf department, and the Blind department. The school also has outreach programs for parents, teachers, and other staff in small and rural school districts in Florida.
The also has a healthcare center on campus for students, as well as two well-appointed auditoriums. The school boasts the Copeland recreation and fitness center, which is specially designed and constructed for the blind. The center is the site of the annual USABA’s youth national goalball tournament. Not only that but blind high school students get state of the art sound system within the school. The school has 11 sports you can join at the school: Football, Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Little League Baseball, Track, Cross Country, Swimming, Goalball, Wrestling, and Cheerleading.
They have preforming arts groups, the deaf department has a traveling dance troupe, and the blind department has a band known as the OuttaSight. The school also has several clubs: the blind skier, academic bowl team (competitive), and a traveling math club called MathCounts. -Notable Alumni- * Ray Charles- He learned to read braille here. When he went to the school it was known as the Institute for the Blind, Deaf and Dumb. * Ashley Fiolek- A very well-known rider in motocross racing. * Marcus Roberts- A famous Jazz pianist. -My Perspective- I really enjoyed researching and writing this essay.
Originally the essay was supposed to be about all deaf culture related things in Florida but, as I started one of the things that kept popping up was the Florida school for the Deaf and Blind. Since it kept popping up I clicked on it and was amazed that it was in St. Augustine (which is where I was going to go for spring break), and that it was the oldest school for the deaf in Florida. All of a sudden I knew that I wasn’t doing my project on the deaf culture in Florida but instead a certain school for the deaf in Florida. Then I realized I had to make a decision; the schools name is the school for the Deaf and Blind.
Meaning I would have to decide if I wanted to do my project on the school as a whole which means the Deaf and Blind, or just the Deaf department. As you already know (because hopefully you read the essay) I choose to both. The reason I choose to do both is because if I’m writing (or typing) this essay about the school than I’m going to write about the school in a whole. When I saw the school in person was when I finally realized just how big 47 buildings and 72 acres is. the school is huge and looked like it could swallow are school times two. I wasn’t able to go into the school.
I was also surprised that I didn’t see that many people who were either deaf or blind from what I could tell at least. I do remember seeing this one girl who was deaf a couple times, I think she might have been a tourist though because I saw her at a tourist spot. The first time I say her we were sitting across from each other at a restaurant. My dad kept telling me to go say hi, and I swear I told him a million times that I couldn’t and that it would be considered rude. All in all I feel extremely pleased with what I came up with for this essay, and I hope you are too.
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