Middle Schoolers Collaborate on Sculpture for Combat Blindness Foundation

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If you would like to attend the Combat Blindness Foundation's 25th anniversary event, please contact the foundation at (608) 238-7777 or info@combatblindness.org.

Kids working on a sculptureMADISON - More than 40 Middleton-Cross Plains middle school students are getting an insight into blindness by participating in the 25th anniversary of the Combat Blindness Foundation (CBF).
The foundation was established in 1984 by Dr. Suresh Chandra, UW Health ophthalmologist and professor of ophthalmology at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. CBF has supported more than 130,000 cataract surgeries in India, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Vietnam, Gambia and Paraguay. UW Health has partnered with CBF to provide a monthly, free community eye clinic for the uninsured and underinsured.

Two art classes at Kromrey Middle School are collaborating on a sculpture that will be the centerpiece of the CBF 25th anniversary celebration on November 4 from 6-8pm at the Madison Marriott. Each student is creating art work out of a cardboard box in any art medium they choose, from paint to mosaic to wire art.
The students have access to photos of patients in India and Africa, who have benefited from CBF's work, to incorporate into their art. Just before the November 4 celebration, the kids will assemble all 42 of their cubes into a sculpture.

"The students are excited because the project fits the school district's education emphasis of a global community," said Chris Forcier, Kromrey Middle School art teacher who organized the project with fellow teacher Vicki Wilson. "When we assemble the sculpture, the students will participate in an exercise that will give them insights into the experiences of the blind and those who interact with them."
Forcier says the students will assemble cubes in small groups and then instruct a blindfolded student on how to assemble the cubes in that pattern.

"The children are learning that the work of the Combat Blindness Foundation is just one example of how their skills and the skills of their neighbors can affect the global community," said Dr. Chandra. "By incorporating into their art work the photos of those who have been helped by the foundation over the last 25 years, they can see the personal impact of working in a global community."

The goal of Combat Blindness Foundation over the next decade is to create sustainable solutions in eye care with emphasis on disease control, medical facility development and medical personnel development. The goal is not to just treat the individual, but to give the country the tools to helps its people. By creating a solid eye care infrastructure and training a capable work force, CBF's ability to combat the backlog of cataract cases and treat the emerging eye care issues will be enhanced.

Dr. Gullapalli Rao, founder of the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderbad, India, and the former president of both the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Vision 2020: The Right to Sight, will be the keynote speaker for the Combat Blindness Foundation's 25th anniversary gala. Dr. Rao will discuss efforts to create sustainable solutions in eye care and the long-term impact CBF's partnership will have on alleviating the burden of blindness throughout the world. 

For more information on the Combat Blindness Foundation and the UW Health free community eye clinics, go to www.combatblindness.org.

Date Published: 10/01/2009

News tag(s):  suresh r chandraeyeschildren

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