For Immediate Release: Tuesday October 6, 2015
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith, South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-7228, firstname.lastname@example.org or Ruth Raveling, South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-2593, email@example.com
Irene Ragels inducted as member of 10² Club
PIERRE, S.D. — The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library is inducting Irene Ragels of Aberdeen as a member of the 10² Club. The 10² Club was established by the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (a division of the Library of Congress) to honor lifelong readers who are 100 or more years of age.
When Ragels, who is 104, was asked what she would like to say about being a centenarian, she said, "I lived through the Dust Bowl. I was teaching in a rural school. It was so difficult to breathe because the dust was so fine. When it became so dark, it was difficult to come up with activities to keep the children from becoming frightened. One of our activities was playing tag in the dark."
Ragels says she doesn't have a favorite book from her childhood, but that she "read anything I could get my hands on. At that time there weren't too many children's books, and I didn't have access to the ones that were available." Today the South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library meets her needs. "I can't think of the words to express how much I appreciate it," she says.
The Braille and Talking Book Library sends an invitation to join the club to any patron who is 100 years old or older.
The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library is a program within the South Dakota State Library and is an affiliate of the National Library Service. The NLS is a braille and talking book library service that is provided at no charge for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. The South Dakota Braille and Talking Book Library is supported with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information call the South Dakota State Library at 1-800-423-6665.
Photo caption: Irene Ragels, 104
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