A group of second graders reads aloud from workbooks as teacher Harriet Go follows along, running her fingers across lines of text. Once class is finished, the children line up at the door. As they walk quietly through the hall to round up her next group of students, Go, who is blind, lightly raps her long white cane on the floor tiles.
Go, 30, has worked for the last seven years in the Philadelphia School District and teaches 21 special-education students in kindergarten through second grade at Richmond Elementary in Bridesburg.
On the first day of school each year, Go plays "icebreaker" games with her students, telling them all about herself, including that she is blind. She also brings in her favorite CD (Adele or Mariah Carey) and movie (any of the Harry Potter series).
"They can see that a person who is blind is a normal person, too, and there's nothing weird or strange about it, they just have to do things differently," said Go, who was diagnosed as blind at birth and describes her vision as "severely limited."
Classes ended for the summer Thursday and Go, recently named one of 30 national recipients of a scholarship from the National Federation of the Blind, will spend a week of her vacation in Dallas at the July NFB annual conference. Go will be honored at a banquet and learn the amount of the scholarship, which ranges between $3,000 and $12,000.Read more »