Colonial Dames 17th Century (CDXVIIC) State President Linda Vandenberg White announced the society had received a grant from the Arkansas Community Foundation (ARCF) to fund her state project of providing Braille Flags to the Arkansas School for the Blind (ASB).


She was to have received the check at the ARCF award ceremony on April 14 at Hot Springs, but the ceremony was cancelled due to the coronavirus.


ARCF grants to hundreds of nonprofits each year through competitive grant cycles and donor advised funds. ARCF was established in 1976 exclusively for charitable, benevolent, scientific, religious, and educational purposes to benefit the people of Arkansas, according to a news release.


CDXVIIC has chapters across the state and will be making the flags at the request of Vandenberg. Her challenge to the chapters is to craft 200 flags for the students at ASB. Vandenberg is a former special educator for the deaf, blind, multi-handicapped, and learning disabled and the money will be used to fund the materials for this special project, according to the release.


ASB is a state-run public school in Little Rock serving blind and vision impaired students of kindergarten through high school grades through residential, day school, and part-time enrollment programs.


Opened in 1859, the school was founded as The Institute for the Education of the Blind. Originally located in Arkadelphia, the school moved in 1868 to Little Rock in the facility now used as the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. By 1877, the school was renamed to its present-day Arkansas School for the Blind. On October 9, 1939, construction of the school’s new campus at 2600 West Markham Street was complete and dedicated to Helen Keller, who was in attendance.


For information regarding other community service projects of CDXVIIC, contact Vandenberg at ardames17c@gmail.com.