NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Children who are visually impaired don’t often get to participate in Easter egg hunts.
All that changed at a school for the blind in the Bronx as kids were treated to a “beeping egg” hunt for visually impaired children, reports CBS2’s Lisa Rozner.
The eggs are wired by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, this year getting a hand from the NYPD and the FDNY.
It’s the second annual beeping egg hunt in New York City, an initiative started by Holly Bonner who writes the blog Blind Motherhood.
“Our goal going forward is to have at least one in every borough,” she said.
This year it expanded from Staten Island to the Bronx where 150 kids took part at the Lavelle School for the Blind in Williamsbridge.
“I found the eggs without getting so scared,” said 10-year-old Janicesa Rodriguez.
Assistant Principal Deni Fraser says the school had to explain to all of them what an Easter egg hunt was, “and how amazing and special it actually is.”
The students range in age from 3 to 21. The experience challenges them to utilize their hearing and sense of touch.
“Putting it in the bag – that’s a skill they use in the classroom to strengthen up their hand movements,” said teacher aide Dilcey Dalmau.
The eggs are traded in for chocolates with the help of volunteers from the Yonkers Millennium Lions Club.
As an extra bonus, the students got another sensory experience – petting the NYPD’s mounted horses and canines.
“It was a very heartwarming experience,” said NYPD Bronx Borough Commander Larry Nikunen.
“Any time you give back to these children and see the smiles on their faces, that’s what it’s all about,” said John Devito, special agent in charge, ATF-NY division.
“Katherine, she’s very quiet sometimes, but when she gets excited you can see it on her face and she has a big smile like she does now,” said Principal Diane Tucker about one of the students.
Starting this Monday, agents will start rehabbing any eggs that may have been damaged and getting ready for next year.
Organizers hope to have a beeping egg hunt in Central Park one day, where they can bus kids in from all over the region.