Books Open for Visually Impaired
Weaver, Rachel, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Zaynee Malik wants people who are visually impaired to hear another good book.
So the Shadyside girl has donated time each week for the past four months reading aloud as part of a new partnership between The Ellis School in Shadyside and the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Students are recording digital audio books for young readers who can't see print.
"It was a very rewarding experience," said Malik, 17, a junior at the school. "The cause is so great."
Melissa Dodge, a French and English teacher at the school, volunteers at the library narrating and editing audio books. She coordinated with the library to get equipment at the school so students could participate. Audio files are recorded in the classroom, then sent to the library digitally.
"There is a shortage of young readers in audio recording," Dodge said.
For the project's first year, the school's faculty chose one student to participate. Malik used her background in theater to bring life to the characters. She's performed with Pittsburgh Musical Theater in shows including "Les Miserables" and "Grease."
"I've always listened to audio books," she said. "It's a really nice thing to share with others."
As required by the program, Malik read a book with a Pennsylvania focus. She chose the debut novel of former Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, "Double Buckeyes," the tale of a young boy who experiences an identity crisis when researching his family history.
Kathy Kappel, library director, called the partnership a "win- win-win. …