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Gifts donated to school for deaf

by Special to The Commercial | May 16, 2022 at 4:19 a.m.
Members of three organizations display the shoe box gifts for the Arkansas School for the Deaf. (Special to The Commercial)

The Arkansas Societies of New England Women (NEW), Sons & Daughters of the Pilgrims, and the Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America (DFPA) recently donated decorated shoe boxes for students at Arkansas School for the Deaf.

Each year, the societies welcome the residential students with a shoe box filled with gifts. The groups brought the boxes to their semi-annual meeting at the Hot Springs Country Club. Monetary donations were also received and will be used to sponsor a special event for the children, according to a news release.

Group members attended the meeting from Clinton, Maumelle, Stuttgart, Pine Bluff, Scotland , Prairie Grove, Little Rock, Hot Springs Village, Hot Springs, and Beebe.

The School for the Deaf is a state-run public school at Little Rock serving deaf and hearing-impaired students through residential, day school, and part-time enrollment programs. The school offers preschool through high school. Students who cannot commute every day live at the facility.

Some of these students are from impoverished families, according to the release.

Founded in 1850, the school is the only one of its kind in Arkansas and serves as the center for deaf education throughout the state. The curriculum is state-mandated and provides individualized education to students.

Membership in NEW is open to women who can prove lineal descent from someone born in New England prior to the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, or in Nassau or Suffolk County, Long Island prior to 1700.

Membership in Pilgrims requires proof in lineal descent from a Pilgrim, any immigrant who settled before 1700 within the territory which became the 48 contiguous states.

Membership in DFPA is limited to women who can prove lineal descent in an unbroken paternal line of either the applicant's father or mother, going back to a founder who arrived in one of the Colonies between May 13, 1607, and May 13, 1687.

Details: Linda Vandenberg White at

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