Extracurricular activities provide important opportunities for kids with vision or hearing loss to build social skills, physical skills, and self-confidence. The MSDB staff encourages all of our students to be as involved as possible in the wide range of activities offered, both on and off campus.
Junior high and high school students can participate in interscholastic volleyball, basketball, track and field, cross country, softball (girls), golf, swimming, tennis, soccer, and wrestling, through cooperative agreements with Great Falls Public Schools and Great Falls Central Catholic High School. Great Falls High School competes in the AA Division, whereas Great Falls Central competes in the District 8C, Northern Division.
MSDB’s Mustang Center is a complete gymnasium facility with a full-size basketball and volleyball court, swimming pool, Nautilus weightlifting room, and a bowling alley. Students can play intramural basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming, and bowling.
Expressions of Silence is a popular performing group of students who are great ambassadors for MSDB. The group uses sign language and dance to interpret recorded music for their audiences.The group provides students with a wonderful opportunity to build their self-esteem and to use their own language to communicate to a broader public. They have traveled as far as Salt Lake City and Washington DC, and performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Oak Ridge Boys. Check out one of their performances, which are publicized on their Facebook page at the link below, or contact Co-Director Jennifer Wasson at 406-771-6143.
Each year a team of deaf and hard of hearing high school students from MSDB travels to compete in the regional Academic Bowl. The quiz tournament covers topics including mathematics, science, social studies, geography, English, literature, art, deaf studies, and current events. The team spends months preparing for the competition with intensive study, led by their coaches. Participating in the tournament is a wonderful experience that builds confidence and allows students to experience themselves as part of a larger community of deaf high school students, in addition to achieving academic excellence.
Junior National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD) offers teens training in citizenship, leadership, teamwork, and an opportunity to contribute to the development of their school and community. The organization is open to MSDB students from 7th to 12th grade.
The Visually Impaired Performers, or VIP, include drama, comedy and music in their repertoire.
VIP has performed with Electric City Harmony, Inc. and the Lady Barbershoppers of Great Falls. They enjoy entertaining people at community events and creating a variety of new material for their audiences.
Cane Club is a service organization through which members explore, interact, and give back, not only to the MSDB family, but to the larger Great Falls community. Each year, the club co-hosts MSDB’s White Cane Day, which increases awareness about the lives of people who are blind.
Cane Club has performed service projects for the Children’s Receiving Home, the local animal shelter, and a retirement home. The students have taken field trips to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and other places. The club’s successful fundraising activities include selling school calendars each year, and they share the proceeds with the Visually Impaired Performers. The club is also saving for a trip to Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.
Goalball is a popular sport for blind and visually impaired people. Two teams play against each other. All players are blindfolded to make the game fair, due to varying levels of sight among players. The object is to roll a heavy ball with bells in it past the opposing team, which tries to block the ball with their bodies. The games are very exciting and challenging, and they offer all the valuable lessons of team sportsmanship. For more information on goalball and MSDB's Goalball/Enrichment Weekends, please click here.
Games for the Visually Impaired
The Games for the Visually Impaired is held each spring at the Montana School for the Deaf & Blind campus in Great Falls. Athletes from around the state compete in track and field, gymnastics, gym activities, swimming and bowling. This is a competitive event for blind and low vision students ranging in age from 3-21.
The VI Games is an uplifting and confidence-boosting weekend for participants, and the MSDB staff provides lots of support for the kids. Personnel from Malmstrom Air Force Base assist athletes in their individual events. Volunteers are willing to swim and run with athletes. Any student with a visual impairment is welcome to participate in the event. Learn more by clicking on this link: Games for the Visually Impaired Guidelines (PDF).
Contact Carol Clayton-Bye at 771-6080 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.