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Grizzlies’ Sam Young gets personal with visually impaired students

  • Written by Kelley Evans
  • Published in News
 

Second-year Memphis Grizzlies player Sam Young on Monday visited five visually impaired students at Treadwell Elementary School as part of the Read to Achieve Program. Second-year Memphis Grizzlies player Sam Young on Monday visited five visually impaired students at Treadwell Elementary School as part of the Read to Achieve Program.


Sam Young of the Grizzlies was right at “home” during a reading session with visually impaired students at Treadwell Elementary School on Monday. (Photo by Warren Roseborough)


Treadwell Elementary second grade teacher Ora Washington (left) with Andrea Lowe, VaShaun Sample, De Marcus Mitchell, Joseph Perry, Vivian Redmond, Oveante Magsby and Grizz Guard Sam Young. (Photo by Kelley Evans)

And, he was at ease. “It was great because it was something that I’ve been around all my life,” Young said.

“My brother is blind. He was born when I was around five or six years old. I had to deal with the fact that he can’t see. I’m the oldest child of five. I had the responsibility that I had to take care of my younger siblings. And now that I’m older, and I have the chance to see how well he’s done, I can help other kids and show them that there’s hope.”

Young read the Braille book, “The Black Book of Colors” by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria. He also celebrated Valentine’s Day with the students, handing out cupcakes along with Grizzlies backpacks and a copies of the book.

Before Young arrived the students practiced their sign language and discussed different aspects of their visual challenges with their teacher Vivian Redmond, who has been an educator for 31 years.

“I have been teaching the visually impaired here at Treadwell Elementary for seven years,” said Redmond. “I make sure I work hard to provide my students with the tools they need to become self sufficient in this society.”

When Young arrived smiles graced the faces of the students. They individually introduced themselves and then began reading the book together.

Young told the students about his younger brother, who is now a college student and has trained a Seeing Eye dog. The students’ showed their interests with free-flowing questions. Young promised a return visit.

Along with Young came a walking-and-talking surprise, Memphis Grizzlies account executive, Jeremy Smith, who was one of Redmond’s former students. Smith told the students that he had an accident as a child, which resulted in him being legally blind.

He offered words of encouragement as he explained that he finished high school, college and now drives.

“One day you’ll be here talking to another class saying what I’m saying today,” Smith said.

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