Students in Mrs. Slongo’s ELT class became blind last week, but not like you might think. For the past two years, Mrs. Slongo has taken her 5th grade class on a journey of exploration and empathy through blind sculptor Michael Naranjo’s work. Students watch a YouTube video about his work and philosophy. Then, students are blindfolded and given a lump of clay to sculpt what they picture in their mind. Last year students wrote letters to Naranjo and sent them to him, but this year Mrs. Slongo wanted the letters to be in a format that was more connected to Naranjo. After students wrote letters about their experiences “being blind” and how they were inspired by his work, students came to the media center to record their letters using Audacity. Their work will be burned onto a CD and taken to one of Naranjo’s art exhibits that Mrs. Slongo’s sister will be attending. It was so inspiring to listen to these 5th grade students share how they were inspired by Naranjo’s passion to keep doing what he loves even though he can’t “see” his work.