I chose Royal National College for the Blind because I want my students to know the challenges blind students face in college as well as society at large. I also want to show them the survival skills that blind students adapt on college campuses.
Dr. Michael Hines, a 58 year old reading teacher, is a former Marine Corp officer and high school football coach. He is known for being extremely tough (but fair) on students. He retired from AT&T several years ago and has done very well financially through investments. Dr. Hines does not need to teach to support his family, he teaches because he sincerely wants to make a difference in the lives of his students. He meets eighth grade students on Saturday mornings at a nearby McDonald’s restaurant to buy them breakfast. His only requirement is that they spend at least two hours reading after they eat. An old Illinois license plate placed above the entrance to Dr. Hines’ homeroom reads, “DO U READ.” Another Illinois license plate prominently placed on the front wall of his classroom reads, “OPN R BKS.” Dr. Hines always chooses a simple decorative design for the College Week competition, because he wants his students to spend more time learning about the details of the selected college, rather than decorating their homeroom. Dr. Hines and his students choose to represent Royal National College for the Blind. He wants them to understand the challenges that blind students face in college. All of his students MUST learn how to read Braille.
College Week is very important at Spencer because for too many years there has been a low level of college entrance for members of the Westside area.