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May 1, 2002


Sister M. Margaret Fleming, I.H.M., Principal of St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments, receiveD the Cardinals Encouragement Award during the 13th American Cardinals Dinner held in Philadelphia on Friday, April 26, 2002.

Saint Lucy Day School, one of five special education schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is located in Upper Darby, Delaware County. At the time of its founding in 1955, the school revolutionized the idea of providing education for children who are blind or partially sighted without isolating them from family and the regular school system. Parents wanted their children to receive the special education services they needed in a spiritually enriching environment. Saint Lucy Day School is administered by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As the recipient of the award, the school will receive a $10,000 gift.

31 boys and girls attend Saint Lucy Day School. They range in age from birth to eighth grade and reflect all ability levels. The students are mainstreamed into the regular education classes at the nearby Saint Alice Parish Elementary School with the ultimate goal for each student to return to his or her "regular" neighborhood school at the earliest opportunity. The immediate objective is to develop all necessary skills for independence.

Saint Lucy students use a variety of equipment that fosters both learning and independence. Students receive formal computer training in grade one and continue through grade eight. All of the computers are equipped with hardware and software that allows the computers to "talk" and produce both large print or Braille printed materials. Each student is trained to use the technology and equipment that would best serve their needs. Even the building is specifically designed to meet the needs of children with visual impairments. Decor and layout use simplicity of design. Special lighting eliminates shadow and glare.

The Cardinals Encouragement Award, which is intended to support programs based upon Gospel values, is presented each year by the American Cardinals at a benefit dinner for The Catholic University of America. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia will host the 2002 dinner which will be preceded by a Mass celebrated at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26, 2002. More information about the dinner and the Mass is available at under News.

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Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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